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Tuesday, December 08, 2009

lightness of fall

From the book I'm reading at the moment, by two teachers I respect profoundly, Stephen and Ondrea Levine:

But in truth, relationship is the art of falling down. Or more accurately, the art of picking oneself up lightly. Our growth is measured in the lightness of the fall and the tenderness of our resurrection.

--Embracing The Beloved

The metaphor of falling lightly evokes the teachings of martial arts. Reminds me that relationship, with work, with a person, with a situation, can always be a dojo - a space for building skills through constant practice and engagement, moving towards mastery. The rules of sparring under which I trained with the Guardian Angels in London are equally applicable to relationships:

First, non-injury - for yourself and your partner.

Second, respect - for the space and everyone in it.

Third - we're all students and we're all teachers. Everyone is here to learn.

Fourth - If you injure your partner by accident, then you are out of training for as long as they are.

Fifth - you don't learn by watching others. You learn by participation, practice, mistakes, falling down and getting up. As many times as it takes.

And the tenderness of our resurrection is a hauntingly beautiful phrase. It wants to be a book title.


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