Day 244 – I am back from a week vacation in the mountains. We hiked, climbed, sang, ate, and stared into nightly fires. We played in waterfalls, stomped and slipped through rocky, steep mountain paths, got rained upon, woke up shivering in 50 degree weather, and slept like babies with a bear foraging the campsite next to us. There was no need to meditate, practice yoga, workout…like today’s reading, I discovered the present is the place where love lives.
As I was preparing for vacation (and my last yoga class before this trip), I was working through several consecutive readings in Meditation on Intention and Being. In these, Rolf writes of tadasana, or mountain pose. Mountain pose, he describes “holds potential for all movement” as the “ultimate in calm, abiding steadiness” with the requirement of “dynamic tension” arrived at effortlessly by the yogi. The inner aspect, awakened by the physical pose, when we become upright in posture, “or in life,” allows the heart to open. This posture helps us “discover a mature capacity for openheartedness,” all at once helping us ground, focus, be inspired and soften to our present moment. We become “spacious enough to hold the whole world and full enough to pour love into everything we do and everyone we meet, without ever running dry.” It is, nonetheless, an “exacting process” to physically achieve mountain pose as it happens when “we place…competing actions in harmony with each other.”
Likewise, in today’s reading, Rolf muses how we bring focus to our mind through practice. He quotes another, opening: “The art of resting the mind and power of dismissing from it all care and worry is probably one of the secrets of our great men.” As such, during asana and meditation practice, “our mind wanders, we fatigue, we remember, and we begin again.” It is in our practice that we develop the “habit of a restful, focused mind.” In action and in inaction, we cultivate a deeper ability to still our mind even as our body stays busy.
On our vacation, as my mind and body relaxed around the stillness, I came to see that love resides in the present moment, and it’s always there, as clear and free as a mountain stream.