Author: Dan Clements
Reviewer: Bernie Clark
Your wound is your gift;
Made conscious; your offering.
Offered freely, you healing.
This book is both an exploration of yoga, and a biography of one man’s journey into yoga and into life, his own personal and private life. It is instructive how much we can learn about ourselves by learning about another. Dan Clements talks openly about his own wounds, pain and healing, opportunities for personal growth and opportunities for the world to heal.
The book has three sections, arranged metaphorically as a walk in the forest. It begins with asking,”What is truth?”and concludes with a suggested yoga practice, complete with detailed instruction and clear photos of what is expected, along with a variety of options and variations. Part one is – Your Wound is Your Gift; part two is – Locating the gift; and part three is – Your offering without expectations becomes your healing.
What is truth? Am I sincere? The answers are conditional. Clements notices, “We tell the truth when the truth supports our interests, and we tend not to tell the truth when the truth conflicts with our interests.” He then offers a few of his own personal affirmations:
“I don’t know what success is.”
“I don’t need to rely on anyone, and I often feel alone.”
“I tell myself stories to feel better temporarily.”
“I don’t know what it means to be whole.”
These are truths: they are not convenient, nor pretty, but true. They are honest. They are hard for a yoga teacher to admit, for to admit to these blows away the pretense that a yoga teacher is perfect, or at least has most of the answers to life’s problems. What does it mean to be a successful teacher, or a success at anything? All these concepts bear investigation.
Your beliefs, what you have faith in, the cultural paradigm that you live within, all these are open to questioning. As Clements lifts the sheets for us, we can see what is lurking under the bed, what wound exists that we have forgotten, at least consciously, but which propelled us in unskillful living. Acknowledging our wound can turn it into a valuable gift. Now, with this realization, you are ready to heal.
Your Wound is Your Gift offers many simple practices to help with the healing. Guided pranayama breath work and simple mediations help to bring us within. Active visualizations work with a fluid breath and strong emotions. As Clements says, “Your gift made conscious is your offering.” By becoming aware of your wound, by realizing it is a gift, you are able to help others with their wounds, with their healing. And, of course, there is the physical practice, which is offered in sufficient detail and clarity to allow you to begin your own journey.
This book is written by a gentle soul, with wisdom and skillful advice. It really is a gift for us all. You cannot buy it on Amazon, but Dan Clements offers this gift on his own website, and you are free to pay whatever it worth to you. You can find it at www.OpenSourceYoga.ca.