Monday, February 6, 2012
I have been contemplating the ways in which we construct narratives recently - and probably much of my life if I'm really honest.
Lately, though, there's been a tug around blogging,
and the ways in which what gets written (here and elsewhere)
tends to be linear,
and well, simply put, organized towards certain messages or outcomes.
How does this impact readers? Or writers for that matter?
What are the limits of this kind of writing when it comes to speaking about -
our spiritual lives?
Let's try something different. And see what happens.
Start with this: Americans alone spend $5.7 billion annually on yoga classes and products.
That BIG. Big Mind Big. Every time I think of folks paying $50,000 to hang with Zen teacher Genpo Merzel, that's what comes to mind.
Big, but not
Not the universe,
moving in the ten directions,
connected if you will
as we are
with the myriad of beings
A few days ago, I came to stop at the edge of the bus stop, as a man was talking to someone on a cell phone, upset, pacing back and forth in the cool, early February wind.
Soon, he stopped too. Stopped talking. Clicked the phone shut. Looked at me. Sighed. Said "Sorry about that. My brother just died."
I stopped again. The "I" who was worried about such a conversation happening.
He started: "Things sometimes happen you know."
I do. But didn't.
"It's just that my sister stole the clothes he left me. I don't know why she did that."
Tears. Coming from somewhere between us
for a moment
In meditation retreats. Sitting there, my entire body aching,
I have looked around and saw that nearly everyone else was still in half or full lotus posture.
So, what have I done? Stayed in half lotus, and either tried to cut off the bodily sensations, or intellectualized the pain as being “good for my practice.”
Why do we keep cutting our selves off from ourselves?
This man loved his brother. He was willing to cry with a stranger at a bus stop over his brother.
That's love just as much as the boundless joy of being together is.
Do you really know how to love? Allow love to grow and be?
The body as sex object. The body as an advertising method, and sales tool. The body as a machine. The body as a workhorse, means of obtaining income through labor. The body as powerhouse athlete.
All of these narratives are pulsing through many of us,
stealing the canals of our hearts
threatening to damn us
to lives of
or not so quiet
He called himself "the godfather" of his family,
a "lost cause"
damaged by military service,
and that which remained in silence
whatever it was
which clearly left him limping,
languishing in a certain kind of lack
even as he so easily
lifted the bar, unclasped the belt
to the wheelchair
of a passenger
about to get off
“alienation from the self is the entire focus of yoga philosophy"
yoga teacher Stephen Cope once wrote
as if we really needed that sentence
it's all so clear to me now, the way the seeds lay in our fields waiting,
for the rain to come.