Being Bound

Warning:  this article is not sexual in nature.

The practice of Yoga imparts many parallels with the process of life.  While trying to get myself into a “pretzel,” I recognized a metaphor.  In reality, we don’t actually try to get ourselves into binds, we just do it, and then wonder how we are going to get ourselves out of them.  For example: like spending more money then we have in our bank account or quitting a job without having another one lined up. These two examples are easier getting into than getting out of.  Contrary to life, it’s more of a challenge getting into a yoga bind then to extricate yourself out of one.

The bind is never the goal of your pose or your state of affairs. The goal is learning to assess, discern, and respect where you are, and choosing to go no further then where you are capable of going in that given moment.  It’s a mental balance of learning how to “tame the ego.”  If you chose to be preemptive,  physical injury and mental anguish can be alleviated.  Getting “into a bind” has its benefits and so does getting out of one.

Physically, the twisting of the body aids in massaging your organs and digestive tract.  It also helps with flexibility.  Off the mat, being able to ask yourself questions as to what led you “into the bind” can give you insight into preventing another reoccurrence.  It helps you to see an alternative perspective.

 

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Transition

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While hiking in the Coconino forest in Arizona, I ran into this stump displaying reminders of transition;

From something alive to now dead

From something that had a purpose to something that has lost its purpose.

From something that was once in one piece to something that now is broken.

From something that had perfect form to something where the form is now bent.

From something that was once clean, and shiny to something now dirty, and dingy.

We will never experience a time in our life when we are not in transition.  You would think we would be totally ok with it because we are experiencing change in every moment of everyday, and in every sense of the word.

Yet transition is the one thing most of us try to avoid because there is nothing familiar about it.

We are creatures of habit, and if it means stepping outside our comfort zone most of us will seize the idea; I am not good enough, smart enough or talented enough… to ask someone out on a date, travel to another country, take an art class, learn another language or to remove any other obstacle to living our passion.

To live our passion we must be willing to experience a transition.  A transition from living to exist to existing to live.  It means giving up the familiar and moving into the unfamiliar.  It means being open to possibilities instead of paralyzed by fear of the unknown.

Let change be the catalyst to living your passion not the fear that kept you from it.

No One is Trying to be Somewhere Else

B8114BE8-C3B4-450D-A036-4BE72B635120My volunteer experience in building the largest Kadampa International Retreat Center in the US. 

Seasoned meditators have a way of dealing with life like non other I have ever experienced. Their “feathers don’t get ruffled” when things go awry or not as planned.

I have witnessed this on several occasions.

  1. While cleaning the kitchen, I knocked a glass salt shaker off a shelf, and it landed on top of a crystal goblet, spraying shards of glass all over the counter tops, and countless stacks of dishes. The only thing that could be done was to take everything off the shelves, and rewash them.  It was fifteen minutes prior to everyone being finished with their shift.  The entire kitchen came to help me clean, and wash the dishes. The only words spoken after I profusely apologized were “it’s ok we have all been there.”
  2. Not one person is wearing ear phones to listen to music. Its not a rule, it’s just their desire to respectively and happily be present.
  3. The start of each shift is honored by being on time and break times are never extended. If there task is not complete, they stay till it is finished.

I hear over and over again their only wish is to obtain a peaceful mind.

I have been to the kitchen, and I know what I want for breakfast.