Saturday, June 25, 2011

Living in The Open

Early this morning I was sitting in meditation, immersed in stillness, tuned in and empty of the usual push/pull of whirling thoughts. I was feeling peaceful and content.  Then, bubbling up from some deep, dark internal spring was a sudden realization that hit me like a punch in the stomach. Was it a profound moment of clarity? Perhaps another step in the direction of awakening or enlightenment?  Whatever the case may be, it reared its head and boy did it ache!  An aspect of my personality that I struggle with had shown its unsavory face.  I watched it enter.  I sat with the discomfort of it.  I listened to it.  The understanding of it caused a lump of grief in my throat. Holding steady, I held it with my attention until is started to dissolve.

When I crawled back into bed I told my husband John about it.  Being someone who knows me well, he was already aware of what I had been turning a blind eye to and we talked about ways to work with it (gotta love a good perspective from your best friend!).

The thing is that even though we have the best intentions of living in the open, parts of us are concealed.  Through the practice of yoga and meditation we discover that although we can't help hiding parts of ourselves, we can help which parts of us - the open or the hidden - rule our lives. What we can be sure of is that when we're living in the open, life nourishes even those parts that are so carefully - and sometimes painfully - hidden.  Living a hidden or open life is like the concept of Yin and Yang (the ancient Chinese understanding of how opposites work in relation to each other). The outer circle represents "everything", while the black and white shapes within the circle represent the interaction of two energies - called "yin" (black) and "yang" (white) - which cause everything to happen. They are not completely black or white and each contains a part of the other, just as things in life are not completely black or white and they cannot exist without each other.  The hidden helps to nourish the open and the open helps to shine a light on the hidden.  Both are necessary.  Our practice helps us to live in the awareness of which aspect we choose to dwell in.

Mark Nepo writes:

"...we become so preoccupied with what we are not able to address, what we are not able to mend, what we are not able to leave behind, that we forget that whatever we are in the light of day is slowly, but surely healing the rest of us."

So, breathe into all of those things you feel incapable of solving in your personality, surround them with your awareness and breath.  Give them space and know that the part of you that is easy, the part that happens without any work is using its strength to soften what you can't solve.

Want to sit with what's present?  Try this: Viloma Pranayama-”Interupted Breathing” 

Perfect for connecting with both the light and the dark, Viloma pranayama brings a feeling of ease, calmness and lightness to the body (in Sanskrit "Vi" means against, "Loma" means hair, viloma means against the natural flow). In Viloma pranayama the inhalations and exhalations are interrupted with brief pauses. 

How to do it:
Exhale all your air then:Inhale 3, pause 3, inhale 3, pause 3, inhale 3, pause 3-long exhale.  Repeat x10 

Deep inhale then: exhale 3, pause 3, exhale 3, pause 3, exhale 3 , pause 3-deep inhale.  Repeat x10.
Inhale/exhale naturally x10

Today's Basic Vinyasa playlist:
"Soul of the Esraj" by Benjy Wertheimer

Until next time...

No comments:

Post a Comment