I am grateful for The Uses of Sorrow .....

"Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift."

I was on a yoga and meditation retreat at Esalen Institute . I was using the above poem by Mary Oliver as part of my practice. And I was really, really struggling.

It was a very difficult time in my life, and my mind was spinning, my heart was broken, my breath was shallow. I thought I might die!

I went in for an interview with my teacher and shared with him the above poem I was using and how my experience was going and actually that I was going to have to leave the retreat and get home ASAP.

This is what he said to me:

"Tamara, maybe you shouldn't go so deep into the darkness. You aren't ready. Stay around the borders."

I stayed at the retreat. I backed up a little from the darkness. I held myself, a little more tenderly.

These years later I see the Uses of Sorrow. I have been on both ends, as a giver of sorrow, and as a receiver of sorrow.  I am human, as are you.

May we use our sorrow to the betterment of  humanity.

© Field of Yoga 2013-2019