Chicken Yoga

This morning as I spread my yoga mat outside, Diamond and Sparkle, my hens, came over to say hello. They softly clucked, pecking the ground at my feet and then moved aside as I sat down. They didn’t peck my mat but hovered around until I started moving into the flow of my practice. As I moved in, they moved out.

My 7 year old son named the chickens, and it never occurred to me the brilliance of the names until I sat in meditation after yoga.

In Buddhist philosophy, a “Diamond” is used as an example to signify the purity of being that is our true nature.* “Sparkle” is not usually an analogy one hears but it is still a beautiful reference to the natural radiance and clarity of light that beams through us when we let it.

As I prepared for meditation following my yoga practice, the “ladies” came running over as I sat down. Softly clucking, hovering as I settled in, they did what I can only imagine is a chicken “purr”, clearing the area around my feet of bugs as I relaxed into the awareness of my breath moving in and out.
These last few days have been full of large waves of emotion. When I have gone outside to care for Diamond and Sparkle, they gently cluck and hover, as if to say, “come sit and stay awhile”. So I sit on the ground and just listen and watch.
It is challenging to remember at times the Diamond and Sparkle of “who you are”, no matter how much you may practice yoga or meditation. And even with consistent practice, sometimes the waves can be too large, it is not appropriate or kind to “make” oneself do more than one can do. We must challenge ourselves to have vitality and stay healthy, but if in the edge the flow of being is not able to move into ease, we will check out and disassociate, further draining our vitality. If the challenge becomes “dis-ease-ful”, then connecting in with nature, with an animal or with someone who cares for you can help to bring the balance back.
And for me that came in connecting with Diamond and Sparkle. They were calm, connected to what was here in the moment: bugs, sun, my movement, the ground, the air, the water, my garden. And in connecting to them, I found my way back and was able to observe the waves. And in seeing the waves, I was able to recognize the waves as waves…despite some very real challenges, the Diamond of of this being called “me” is pure and free. And this Diamond as it is in many beings seeks only to Sparkle.
May the Light that embraces all of us Sparkle brightly through you and me, and bring peace to all beings.