Saturday, May 16, 2009

Practice and all is Coming

Isn't so funny how our minds see things in the context that it wants us to?
Yesterday I was going for a steam at the Brennan Park Rec Centre. My friend Cait was going to come with me but decided against it because she thought $5 was a bit much for a 10 min. steam (and she had some packing to do as well). True that. I concurred. However, I was still seduced by the thought of the heat penetrating the fascia in my legs and upper back, so I ventured out. When I arrived there was a $1 special on. It turned out to be the best steam of my life. I was smiling ear to ear. The entire time I was contemplating... is it so good because I got a deal?
That evening I had to go pick up my boyfriend Sonnie at the Vancouver airport. The traffic was heinous, as it usually is in Vancouver. I was slightly bitter at being cut off by an over-stimulated young driver. I found myself thinking Vancouver was SO not the place for me, and longing for the lush forest and homey feeling of Squamish. I got to the airport and I was not smiling. Seeing Sonnie allowed me to have a great reversal. He drove me back home. In the passenger seat I was amazed at the beauty of Vancouver. The playful city lights at twilight. The hundreds of people all wearing something that expressed a little of who they are. The vast landscape of peaks in the distance and the shiny peaceful expanse of ocean. I was smiling. Hmmmm. Same city. Different experience.
It got me thinking. Wow, the mind and it's conditions. The mind and it's context. Why can't I see things with that shining sacred light on them all the time? I think I know why - and I can intellectualize it. My intelligence (buddhi) knows. But my mind is still immature at times. Playing the great game and flitting and flirting with instant gratification, self love and self loathing. It still covers the brilliance of my heart with a little opaque sheath at certain times.
The practice of yoga has been an amazing thing for my heart. Even through the murkiest of times when my mind is poisoned by my conditioning, I have been able to step onto my piece of rubber, latex and microfiber, and move and breathe with this feeling of reverence for the life experience. At least I have tricked it into (or maybe it has tricked me) into seeing that my mat is not just a toxic piece of waste. There was a time in my life when I looked at my body and saw it as a repulsive object. I wanted to change it. I wanted out of it. That started to change when I started to practice yoga. For 2 hours of the day my body was a vessel for hovering. My body was an instrument that was used to precisely harmonize with gravity. It was silent and vast. Spacious and enlightened. The feeling would pass quickly. But the little residue of it started to penetrate my life.
Presently I feel like I am working more with my mind. The meditation cushion or block is taking on a sort of phosphorescence. I am hoping that the small minutes when I see my mind as a vibrant part of me, and also as no different than the natural power of wind and waves, will start to expand and deepen.
What about love? When we fall in love we see the other as brilliant as a diamond. The other renders us speechless at the best of moments. We become quiet with appreciation. In the moment of looking into their eyes we feel everything and have no opinion. As the years go by we begin to project on to them. Make expectations. Why should this happen? It never did in the honeymoon stage!
What about our parents? Do we really have to see them as parents? As some strange alien prototype in which to dump blame on?
On the same note, I had an aversion to The Yoga Journal for a little while. The flashiness of the advertising. The way I thought it made some people feel like they weren't pretty enough or fit enough to do yoga. Sonnie got me a membership a while ago and I stopped reading anything but the anatomy section for some time. Today I was waiting for Sonnie in a coffee shop and I had the latest issue. I ended up reading the whole thing cover to cover and being completely impressed. I also was completely amazed at my aversion patterns. There was a beautiful article on meditation called Presence of Mind that articulated many different mindfulness techniques. I still had some discriminative awareness about some of the advertising, but on a whole, I was very pleased by the magazine and felt much appreciation for it's publication.
We have the opportunity to see everything as sacred. We just have to engage in some sort of practice that allows us to see the perfection of everything. Some practice that curtails the mind's aversion and attachment patterns. Slowly we can sculpt the mind into peaceful happiness. Then it can drop into the cavern of our heart, and the union will open up the gates to freedom.
Pattabhi Jois said, "Practice and all is coming." He is not doing so well right now, so let's put our hearts out to him. He has contributed so much to the integration of yoga as we know it here in the West.
Keep practicing something!

1 comment:

nycashtangi said...

i am so glad to be reading your blog. this entry on aversion describes me too a T! thanks for the reminder to let all that go and take another path.