The love of learning, the sequestered nooks, And all the sweet serenity of books-
Teachers today often speak, lament – painfully about adjusting their techniques to a student’s learning style. Yet, very few have evolved to assist students who seek enlightenment, to learn about their essential ätman. The true identity of their soul …
Yet another kind of student, another kind of teacher … A kind of teacher who prefers to approach this enlightenment “thing” through work, and for me there is Karma Yoga.
I would like to share my fave passage from the Bhagavad Gita with you this morning:
Who dares to see action in inaction, and inaction in action,
he is wise, he is a yogi,
he is the man who knows what is work.
And if he works selflessly,
if his actions are made pure in the fire of knowledge,
he will be called wise by the learned.
He abandons greed; he is content;
he is self-sufficient;
he works, yet such a man cannot be said to work.
If he forsakes hope, restrains his mind, and relinquishes reward –
he works yet he does not work.
If you thought this post was about yoga? You would be dead wrong! Cycling, running, being a parent? Warmer. Being you, being authentic, being vulnerable … The individual, who wishes to attain enlightenment – union through work, must cultivate a particular view of his or hers endeavors … Let’s read the last line one more time, together.
If someone comes along and shoots an arrow into your heart, it’s fruitless to stand there and yell at the person. It would be much better to turn your attention to the fact that there’s an arrow in your heart-
If through practicing mindfulness, we practice letting go of thoughts – hopefully? We need another practice for letting thoughts in, getting comfortable with threats from soccer moms, the risks associated with yoga class, discouraging and difficult thoughts during a recent early morning run. We need to exercise our ability to comprehend the tedious, harsh and more discouraging thoughts we encounter during the day more so than blasting reps and sets in a gym. Without ever practicing letting thoughts in? We tend to interpret the world through the lens of easy, wishful thinking …
We need to be brave enough to take our shoes off, expose our knackered and worn toenails to step confidently into dark, discouraging and confusing waters in our quests for uncertain gratification.
It’s not enough to be able to dismiss all the “thoughts” we process and return to the here and now as “mindfulness” practice encourages. Seriously folks – Please read the last sentence again. This is where many people get mindfulness wrong, horribly wrong: Mindfulness practice is most attractive and helpful to people who succumb to the weight of negative thoughts and feelings.
Consider that most often mindfulness is meant to discourage, discouragement.
You may be able to tell I am clearly frustrated with the current view, adopted by so many in regards to mindfulness. The power of neutral-thinking, an ability to, in effect pre-grieve the possibilities of not having the latest yoga fashion(s) so that we aren’t scared of living without them, limbering our minds much the way we learn to breathe into and surrender to the searing burn of a stretched hamstring during chair pose.
By letting thoughts in, we have already visited failure, humiliation and injury. We are prepared to contemplate deeply even when it’s not cool or trendy. Here’s the harsh truth that many yogis, blog posts and tired yoga magazine articles fail to provide us: Mindfulness practice is not believing you can ward off undesirable outcomes by not thinking about them.
And then there are the times when the wolves are silent and the moon is howling-
We can learn so much by looking up at the sky, with wide eyes, in wonder. We can feel deeply when sitting beneath a tree, in stillness after practicing yoga with some close friends. We can experience every sense nature presents to us while lying down in dewy grass after finishing a race. Nature is here to remind us and allow us to become curious about the great mystery of balance, harmony and life.
One of the Gifts that can arise from a recent bout of injuries, the inevitable surgeries, and rehab is a gift that can also be reaped from reading cheeky a poem by Shel Silverstein: Slowing Our Pace In Life. In the time it takes you to recover from injury so many clouds will gently float past you, you’ll start to take notice of the flowers growing diligently in a nearby field. The words filling the page will take on completely new meaning, depth. This simple act of just “being“ will ignite a new understanding of yourself, forgiving you for all the abuse you have subjected yourself to.
Because of our mind numbing daily pace, we all forget, that sometimes, we are an integral part of nature. Be well today and take care.
Tothom pot intimidar, però no tothom aprèn a respectar-
All of us lead busy lives, our responsibilities become greater each and everyday. The only constant in our lives is change.
Many, if not all of our biggest missteps daily occur because our lives are out of balance. Let us help you today to tip the scales away from stress and chaos, towards happiness and peace of mind. One of the most powerful ways to do this is through open honest dialog amongst friends and nursery rhymes. <— What?!?
This may or may not be the hardest program you have ever participated in?!? 5k- Easy, X-Fit- Cake, Boot Camp- Whatever …
Crocodile Breathing while learning/speaking (aloud) a simple nursery rhyme in Catalan, simple stuff right?
First we need a spiffy nursery rhyme: The Rooster and the Hen
The rooster and the hen
Were on the balcony,
The hen was falling asleep
And the rooster gave her a kiss.
-Naughty, more than naughty!
What will people say?
-Let them say what they want,
For now I’m happy!
Now the translation in Catalan:
El gall i la gallina
Estaven al balcó,
La gallina s’adormia
I el gall li fa un petó.
-Dolent, més que dolent!
Què dirà la gent?
-Que diguin el que vulguin
Que jo ja estic content!
Either you can write the translation down or use your iPad thingy, your choice? Find a comfy spot on the floor, tummy side down to work on our Crocodile Breathing (Google it if you are unfamiliar with this breathing technique). Allow your controlled breath to take you away, a state of calm. While you practice your nursery rhyme. This is not a contest, sword fight, or struggle. When you feel you can comfortably say the rhyme (aloud)? Stand up and give it a go. If you fail? Back to the floor it is for you … It took Uncle Mo 3 tries and 40 minutes of practice. The hardest 40 minutes of work he has done in quite some time.
Be well today and Gaudir!!!