Day 227 – Today I began my prctice following an intense morning of angst and frustration over naught. Troublesome thoughts arose as I felt my body tighten more and I felt powerless to control others’ reactions to the situation and, therefore, more frustrated and angry. As one part of the troublesome situation left the house to do the routine shopping, I sat down to do a meditation–again, a 20-minute Buddhist meditation on loving kindness. Knots did not necessarily dissapate completing but they did lessen as my awareness to them softened, and I fell into the moment, realizing that emotions (like anger) come up, ping about in the mind, and settle into my day, unless I consciously soften to them and allow myself to let go of them.
In today’s reading, Rolf discusses how asana forces us to arrive “at an understanding of our physicality.” And this understanding, in turn, “reflects the political and economic systems” in which we live. Rolf writes of exercises and exercise modalities: “No thought was given to the fact that training like this would, over time, develop some muscles and not others, leading to unnuatural imbalance and injury…Western medicine is based on teh assumption that the body is made of separate parts, like a machine.”
And, thus, I arrived at the beginning of a meditation practice, when asana, too much movement or opening of this muscle or that, inculcates more imbalances in my body, mind, and spirit. This, in turn, has led me to just sitting and breathing and into “the miraculous experience of our own embodied present moment.” In my guided meditation, I was able to nonjudgmentally note how one side of the body overpowered the other, how, in an attempt to open or soften one part of my body and mind–such as anger, I tightened another. And throughout I was able to sit and breathe and and be present.
The Buddhist teacher leading the meditation said that everything is in flux; change is in every breath and in every moment to the next. He painted a scene of this mind of loving compassion and unattached, nonjudgmental kindness as a magical forest pool of calm, nourishing water will invite all the magical creatures to drink from. These magickal creatures are the emotions, the sorrows, the pain, the joy, the memories, the desires, the aversions, within ourselves. And through my practice today, like today’s reading, I began to see how my meditation was an integral part a “balance and integrated” whole all the time, where I practice nonviolence on not only one part of my body to the next, but one moment to the next without reaction. Through this meditation today, I came to recognize this understanding, which Rolf describes so well, that “all art, all mastery, all acts of trancendence flow from and are expressions of our own inner space: the body, the breath, the mind, and the heart.” This is the integrated whole.