Saturday, October 30, 2010

Deep or Shallow, It's All Good

Some days we go through the motions until that last moment, in Savasana (Corpse Pose, relaxation), when something specific and unnamed loosens. We curl onto one side in the quiet breathing of that precise moment, and nothing else matters. Sitting up, drunk on the softness of our own breath, we realize slowly that this is all we are, and it is everything, the paradox of emptiness. An open space has opened up inside us and is reflected for that moment holds everything we see, hear, feel, think, and wonder.

Some days from the very first moment the day begins there is something open, inviting a looser grip, a willingness to see from all sides and be content with what actually is so.

Must we make this into something else, call it by some Sanskrit name or attribute it to a god or goddess? Do we feel the beginning glimmer of understanding that the deepest part of ourselves is, in fact, as sacred, divine, spirited and open ended as any belief we might adopt?

What makes yoga so potent is how it quietly opens up the mysteries in moment after moment of inquiry. There is no right answer and no pre-requisite. Each of the principles leads to all the other principles. Each of the practices leads into all the other practices. Take meditation, for example. One person can practice for years or for 10 minutes a day and either way find a kaleidoscope of effects, insights, open moments. Is one deep and another shallow, or can we simply accept that there are endless possibilities if we are open to them?

Expectations will change your time on the mat, giving you something to resist, something to judge, an aim that will cloud your experience. It is a marvelous gift to allow the practice to take you to the depth that suits the moment without expectation or judgement -- perhaps floating on the surface, or sinking deeper than you have words to express into a non-dualistic world where the name of this and that no longer hold the key to being.

"People say that what we're seeking is a meaning for life. I don't think that's what we're really seeking. I think that what we're seeking is an experience of being alive, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive."-Joseph Campbell

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