eoin finn on going outside to get inside
posted: April 22, 2014
Celebrate Arbor & Earth days with Blissology!
Between April 12-16, 17-21 and 22-26 our goal is to collectively plant 100 trees in each 5 day period. Join us in spirit by planting a tree, plant, flower, cacti or a seed, anything that’s learnt the miracle of eating light. When we hit 100 pics posted on Instagram and Facebook tagged #blissology #arborday #100trees #ebyapril we will release the password for a free routine from Eoin’s newest DVD Earth.Body.Yoga @#freeEBYapril
When I travel without my family, I always have a sense of loneliness. I tell people that I go from Blissology to Miss-ology. But happily my family is with me in remote Western Australia as I write this.
This said, there is still something missing. The exuberance of a 3-year-old child is so uplifting and keeps our inner child alive, but there is no ‘off switch.’ The fun just keeps coming and tiredness is the result of an already draining schedule. I crave stillness, particularly stillness in Nature. It means everything to me. While teaching and traveling in Australia I’ve seen so much beautiful Nature, but haven’t slowed down and unplugged from the busyness of my mind to really let its message fill me up.
Today is the day I decide to do something about it. I set my alarm for 4 a.m. and drag myself out of bed on this chilly morning.
The Indian Ocean’s deep blue waters fade into shallower turquoise reefs, which morph into long white sand beaches enveloped by rocky cliffs. The brush goes from yellow and green shrubs, then finally to trees. There is so much life here and it expands in all directions.
By mid-day the sun will feel almost brutally strong, but mornings here are chilly. Above, clumps of dark blue clouds are barely visible in the faint twilight. I sit and consciously breathe into the tight muscles of my lower back. With this level of presence I notice the scent of the lemon blossoms in the air. For a brief moment I acknowledge the exchange between my breath and the green plants that eat light and the oxygen they give us in the process. It makes me smile slightly, but I withdraw from thoughts again mining for my innermost serene self. This is the essence of yoga.
Minutes pass, maybe 10 or 15, and when I open my eyes I see the clouds are changing to a display of pink, feathery loveliness. Had I not found this place of immense mental calm I would probably have been on my iPhone Instagramming this scene, but I have no desire to break the spell of the present moment.
My energy seems to be intimately connected to the landscape I am in. In spite of the yoga, the fun of the travel, the joy of sharing my passions with people and the drudgery of travel over the last week, it is clear what has been missing in the equation: quiet solitude in Nature.
By solitude I mean inner stillness; introverted time where we unplug from the outer world. Very rarely in modern living do we find this solitude, but instead seek constant stimulation. The ancient yogis described the mind like a lake and thoughts like waves on the lake (chitta vrittis). Like wind disturbs glassy water, all of our thoughts disturb the stillness of the mind. Ultimately, yoga is about silencing them so we can let this inner sense of serenity inform our consciousness.
This process has become an increasingly indoor event over the years. It’s interesting to me, though, that Buddha went into Nature—not to a temple—to reach enlightenment. He sat under a tree until he got it. Jesus went to a Judean desert for 40 days and 40 nights to commune with the Divine. It’s obvious to me now, whenever we seek solitude in the beauty of Nature our deepest heart will become clear. What I feel in this place I would describe as Love.
“What is love?” is the most Googled question in America and one I have been contemplating daily for most of my life. For me, Love blurs the lines between where we end and another begins. The Ego does the opposite, hardening the distinction between our self and others.
We make space for Love when we diminish our Egos, and that is precisely what we do when we seek solitude in the beauty of Nature. Suddenly, the world does not revolve around us. We feel so small against the backdrop of nature’s immeasurable vastness. This allows Love to come.
Like Nature, Love is nurturing, but it will also rip us wide open. Ultimately it is both bitter and sweet, the joy of union and the aching of loss. Bono said it best, “To hurt is to feel.”
As I sit looking out into the brilliance of that morning sky, it is impossible not to feel that all life is miracles; but temporary ones. Every blade of grass or illuminated cloud is a gift of creation, but they won’t be here long in this form in spite of our reverence for it. This is why the words “achingly beautiful” come to our lips in the presence of such beauty.
As a culture we tend to fill our days with distractions that avoid even a few moments of this quiet time in nature that will give our hearts direction, guidance and the most sublime energy.
As I am having these thoughts on my meditation cushion I feel a small but passionate 3-year-old wrapping his arms around me awaking my joy with his unquenchable zest for life.
“Dada! Let’s play!”
I am so ready.
One of lululemon’s earliest ambassadors, Eoin Finn is a yogi, surfer and blissologist who teaches his unique and transformative yoga all over the world, sharing his passion for well-being and happiness. He is the founder of Blissology and a strong advocate of the belief in yoga and environmentalism. His new video Earth, Body, Yoga is available on iTunes now. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.