Thursday, December 6, 2012

Being Able to Feel

Building and Earthquake

How easy it is for a dream to construct
both building and earthquake.
Also the nine flights of wooden stairs in the dark,
and the trembling horse, its hard breathing
loud in the sudden after-silence and starlight.
This time the dream allows the building to stand.
Something it takes the dreamer a long time to notice,
who thought that the fear was the meaning
when being able to feel the fear was the meaning.

Jane Hirschfield, from "COME, THIEF" Poems, 2011

The practice is not one of dilution nor erasure. It is not curative nor corrective. Let's call it a practice of immersion and illumination. I find this is where life becomes a reflection of truth and broadens to let in all the possibilities.

It is particularly poignant to me that Hirshfield uses the framework of a dream here. I've been struck by how vividly dreams hold the mind and provide experiences even while we sleep. This is such a lovely way of noticing that the mind creates all of our experiences, even the illusions that we rely upon so deeply in order to go on about our lives.

The dream opens slowly to the dreamer, as witness to the mind's story. This, too, is a most remarkable moment when we see ourselves seeing, and are able to feel ourselves feeling.  

In my yoga teacher training at Kripalu we delved into the idea of meditation in motion that yoga offers. More than the placement of this foot there, or drawing a line in the mind from point A to point B; more than losing track of thoughts or feeling the rush of endorphins that bring happiness and loss of memory about the pain we walked in with, yoga is that space in which we can take "a long time to notice." It is the being itself that has meaning, not lost in the reactive, but able to take it all in.

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