This Blog has a very long title (and totally flies in the face of what our content manager at suzenyoga.com advises me to include in blogs!). However, it’s true . . . I fell in love with Yoga in its entirety because I was constantly told early on in my development to “jump in” – and that it would be an adventure. And that has always been true for me, for the self-discovery, the joy of the new, and the promise fulfilled.
So if you’re taking time out from the the intelligence-sapping mindset of consumerism, and the demands/desire energy drag of daily life to read this blog . . . hopefully enjoying some precious moments in just “being” . . . below is not a list of “things to do”, but rather 3 adventures to have.
Happy reading, dear reader, and on with our 3 steps to adventure in Yoga:
1. Yoga is described as “the many threaded tapestry” in the sacred text of Yoga, the Upanishads: it’s actually totally non-sensicle to try and give an essence of the ultimate state of meditation in the short streams and downloads that we’re expected as teachers to deliver on the internet today. However, my lovely old meditation teacher Sam always told me just to go out and teach, everything helps, and all the threads in the tapestry eventually come together as realisation of the self.
And, in that spirit, why not just try some of the short practices that are available for free (on Youtube for example): it’s the adventure of practice that’s important, and with enough dedication to practice you’ll probably eventually experience the wonders of At-one-ment!
2. “Take your heart out into fields of light” – Rumi : As teachers, we’re taught to inspire our students and practitioners with the beautiful truths, prose and poetry of the masters, teachers and mystics. I love what the Sufi poet Rumi infers with these words: what good is your heart unless you go out into the wide, wild wonder of the world? Better said than done, I know, when you’re confined in small spaces, or uninspiring living conditions. But, in the Yogic tradition, hearts need independence for transformative love to flow . . . so, before or after trying any new practice, take a walk if you can and tell someone what they do is important to you.
And, in that spirit, why don’t you try this short practice for free: Walk. The walking meditation has always been an essence of Zen. Take 5 minutes and a regular route, focus on your breath, evening out the inbreaths and the outbreaths, and simply be conscious of your step, your body, the air you breathe. Be conscious of your heart and take your heart out for a walk.
3. This very body is the buddha: give yourself a massage! Bring your mind down into your body and focus completely on putting something back into your mind-body system for half an hour. Self-massage with oil in a prepared sanctuary space used to be the weekly bliss “bath” ritual in Yoga in India. It keeps the bodymind in a balanced place for all the experiences of meditation, making it a more comfortable for the spirit to “dwell”.
And, in that spirit, why don’t you try self-massage at the end of the week: try to make it last for half an hour in a warm bath/shower room, use olive or sesame oil (not the toasted variety!) and have a warm bath or shower afterwards.
. . . and completely off-this-topic, I wish I could write poetry like “Conversation in the Mountains” by Li Bai . . . this is pure adventure to my spirit:
You ask me why I dwell in the green mountain;
I smile and make no reply for my heart is free of care.
As the peach-blossom flows down stream and is gone into the unknown,
I have a world apart that is not among men.