Sunday, October 5, 2008

Blissful thinking

April 2007
This is the time of year I usually dedicate a fairly good portion of my days complaining about the long, and dreary winter. But this year those of us who reside in the northeast have very little to gripe about. Thanks to El Nino [and unfortunately maybe a little global warming] we’ve had quite a mild season. So no complaints from me…okay well maybe just one: since it was so relatively mild, there was very little opportunity to hibernate -- which means not very many obvious opportunities for quiet reflection or meditation.

Those of us who do yoga certainly realize the value of this very necessary component of our practice but we often don’t make the time for a regular meditation practice. Speaking for myself, if I’m not forced into quiet, snowed-in moments I will rarely make the time to meditate even when that’s exactly what I need the most. It’s just easier to do asana or get involved in some other activity – meditating can be a difficult practice – at least it is for me.

But as this gentle winter comes to a close, I’ve slowly come to understand the need to become a clearer, calmer yogi. So I search for ways to meditate within my busy-ness. I don’t have the time to escape to a solitary beach or lonely mountaintop. I can’t run away from the honking horns or the screaming sirens of this big city I live in. I’m learning to find the quiet space within myself.

Admittedly it’s not so easy but I’m progressing. And it has made me realize that all of us have to function in the world and within our own particular chaotic lives. We all must learn to deal with our particulars as best we can. As yogis we try to live with as much grace and lovingkindness as possible but sometimes—because we’re human---we find ourselves melting into the chaos. And that’s when and why we need our meditation practice the most.

So the next time you react with anger or self-pity or jealousy, take a few minutes to journey inward. Look for that quiet, lovely, solitary space. Fill up with the goodness that is inherently in you. Let the horns honk and the chaos swirl. Then, when you feel the calmness and the clarity washing away the darkness, return to your busy-ness and shine your light. You’ll be amazed at how much people will appreciate the glow.

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