Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Constancy: the discipline of being
Every month I go visit my elderly relatives, parents and aunt, about 150 miles away from where I live. Every day I take a few minutes to meditate and practice even just a bit of yoga aside from my teaching. Every night that I am home, I share a meal with the one(s) I love who are living with me. These are not ritual patterns, they are mindful acts.
Being present is not a casual operation! With time and practice, mindfulness and awareness become more constant as a way of operating, of being. But to get there from here takes intention and action.
So just as with checking mail or washing dishes, there is a determination of value in it even when it has nothing to do with how the world will judge you or what others think of you. This is something that comes from inside, the urge to find your self or to shed layers of the self that no longer suit you, or that chafe or cause pain.
Meditation and yoga practices do not take you from yourself. It seems to reveal a more vivid quality in fact. I can see my wandering mind, I can notice that tight muscle buried deep in the hip socket. I can watch feelings rise and fall in myself. These are part of me, and I can adapt my functioning to accommodate in different ways once I am aware.
Choosing to travel every month, choosing to show up on the mat every day, these are ways of connecting. The energy, relationships, awareness and peace that come with being present are vast, seem larger and more inclusive than anything I've run into before. This state of being can accept sorrow, can include anger and pain, can hold joy and excitement, can be all the facets of emotional and physical self and still be intact. It is this undamaged quality to the energy, the being, that is the revelation. No matter what else has happened, or we think is happening, this inner energy is whole.
Curiosity and constancy are enough to get there, add a dose of intention and suffering to pull you deeper into the inquiry and all there is to do is let go of resistance and be.