Thursday, November 11, 2010
Not So Special, Just Being Authentic
There is such a temptation to build ego! Even as the yoga practice works to dissolve the dualities, drawing attention to the energy rather than the definitions within which the energy moves... Meditation is walking in the wind, watching the world move in response, feeling it, and even while feeling it, letting the feeling slip out of the sensory realm.
Okay, so meditation can take a person beyond that ego, but the ego still wants in on it. You can feel it, hovering, wanting to get its sticky fingers back into the deliciousness. There's nothing wrong with ego. We need it, definitely, to function properly in the world. But it is not the same as being, it is the separate "self" rather than the universally connected "Self."
Taking a yoga class is a wonderful exercise for me. It is like the way your core feels when you first try to invert into headstand... all wobbly and strangely new. There's a sense of identity, yet an observing identity, and yet still another body of energy that is simple and clear. I have to laugh at the teacher person on the mat who is laughing at the student person on the mat who is laughing at the blissful energy person on the mat who is hovering over the aching knees and softened heart person. All of them are me and yet this does not make me into any thing, or any one in any hierarchy. Each body in the room has this fullness of knowing, not knowing, feeling, perceiving, and witnessing. How wonderful is that?
The fact is that nothing I do on the mat, or off the mat turns me into a pot of gold. I remain a breathing entity wobbling through the moments I get, sometimes lifted off the earth in a blissful state by a gust of wind in the leaves, sometimes slogging in the mud with a shovel made of the heaviest steel. And so it is for everyone, I suspect. We have our separate faces so we can tell better stories, otherwise we might be like bees and all there would be would be a sound of communal buzzing. Actually, some of the most marvelous moments are those when we listen for that very sound among us.
The big part of practice in this regard is to let go of my attachments to putting values on "me." It is not that I am worthless, but that there is no measurable entity when it comes to "being me." It doesn't matter if I can do a particular asana or not, or if it looks just so or not. This way of being without judgment means that I don't feel "special" in any way that elevates me beyond the other human beings (or frogs for that matter) around me in the mud of yoga practice. This helps me really be compassionate towards myself and others. We are all just riding this particular wave, even if we cannot distinguish this wave from any other. The riders who fall into it sooner are no less riders than those who are riding it still.