I’ve heard that in Japan, drivers are mindful about their behavior on the road since they want to offer a good example to people around them.
We are all teachers. We teach by the choices we make. I always choose from love or fear ~ even if the action is the same, the source makes a difference.
We also can learn from everyone – sometimes what to do and sometimes what not to do.
We are all students. I can get annoyed or I can learn. I can be all that-person-is-so-great-I-could-never-do-that or I can learn. We learn by the perspective we take.
One way to understand something is to look at another thing. The Body’s Way is really Nature’s Way, so what can I learn about my feet by understanding roots?
Most tree roots grow in the top 18 inches of soil – spread platter-like under the tree. For balanced movement, spread and relax your feet. Unclench your toes and your heart may follow.
Resting but ready.
In winter, tree roots don’t go dormant but instead are resting and poised for even a few warm days to enliven and grow. Keep relaxed aliveness in your feet and You will leaf from there.
Henry David Thoreau and Baloo the Bear were both smart cookies about life. Both espoused the philosophy that life is unnecessarily complicated and that sublime living awaits if we are able (as Henry David puts it)
to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms
Or as Baloo sings to “look for the bare necessities.”
It can be scary to let go of the happiness/safety illusion attached to our trappings. But whether you are at Walden or in the jungle or in a little camper or dancing in class, you actually need less than you think.
It may be that the satisfaction I need depends on my going away, so that when I’ve gone and come back, I’ll find it at home. – Rumi
Sensations are neutral.
Events are neutral.
It’s my mind that makes it good or bad, pleasant or unpleasant.
The essence of the practice is to stay with the essence of the sensation.
The direct experience.
Not the story. Not the judgment. Not the drama.
In this very moment: feel the tingling, pulsing, tightness, throbbing. And then drop the words and simply sense.
My mind may keep pulling me away.
Keep coming back.
My teachers (and Principle 7) invite me to choose the level of intensity that is right for me. Say that and – BOOM – I’m in tight mind.
The trouble with tight mind is that it’s crowded: full of “shoulds,” “do I have to?s,” beliefs about getting it right, fear of discomfort.
The trouble with tight mind is that Lazy Daisy and Eager Beaver Overachiever are in there and those two do NOT get along.
When choosing movement intensity, better to go with Big Mind. Spacious, body~centered, present moment Big Mind. That’s where eons of wisdom is. There, the choice is obvious.
My first yoga class with Mia Hamza focused on the side body. Afterwards, my body’s increased ease, range of motion and depth of breath amazed me.
Inspired, I read Yoga Anatomy by Leslie Kaminoff and Amy Matthews to understand more about what is physically happening in different postures and movements.
In particular, I appreciate Kaminoff’s definition of breathing (explained simply and briefly here) as “shape change in the abdominal and thoracic cavities.”
So, it makes sense that length and strength in back, core, and rib muscles allow for ease, range and breath. May you get on your good side, too.
What is home?
What do I do when I “make myself at home”?
“Home is not a place but a feeling.”
Making myself at home is making choices that create that feeling.
And choosing the people, too.
How do I feel at home wherever I am? no matter who I am with? in my very own skin?
A Great Need by Hafiz
(for Sara and everybody making home wherever they are)
Of a great need
We are all holding hands
Not loving is a letting go.
The terrain around here