Going off the well-worn track
What happens when I jump off the bus, or the train, or the plane? It depends on how fast I am going to somewhere other than where I am, now, in this moment. This summer I stepped out of the moving city and landed on the Oregon Coast with our new puppy Sita, and my husband. Open hours, open practice, wide open horizon and a phenomenal night sky. How to start my practice when I’m not going to teach? It was more complex
than I thought it would be, this “taking a
Touch. I was touched by the silence of opening to not knowing, and the noise of Urdhva Dhanurasana or Eka Pada Sirsasana begging for attention. I began each practice with Savasana, the touch of mind probing, sensing, softening, listening. Touch is interesting as we use it to imply so many things. Guruji notes that the skin is the largest sensory organ in the body. We can feel a firm handshake or shoes that fit too tight. We prefer soft and natural fabrics, the tactile efficiency of the right pen, or the slender stem of a wine glass. Touch is the only sense for which there is no cultural art form, such as music, art, gastronomy and perfumery.
Savasana. Invite the touch of mind probing, sensing, softening, listening. In yoga, sound is equated with the element of space, while the mind with the element of fire. I might probe to feel the difference between the two sides of my calves on the floor; but really I have to allow the sensation to come to me. I listen with my body; I soften the zealous mind and allow for nothing at first. Then, slowly, I feel the mind shifting into a state of awareness that spreads and “touches” different parts of the body from within. I find this listening to be different than a body scan or Yoga Nidra; perhaps more akin to some forms of Vipassana meditation.
I did continue with Urdhva Dhanurasana or whatever caught my fancy that day, but at some point I would “rest” in the pose. Invite the sensing, softening, and listening into the shape. Perhaps the pose was not perfect or photographic, but that is not the point. If I practice like this more often, I will not need a “vacation”, for every practice will be touching this spacious place of resting deeply, Savasana in action.
Thank you Oregon and summer of 2016. Now to return to the spinning wheel; what web will I weave this year?