Ruminating On Rumi

As you start to walk out on the way, the way appears.

~ M. Rumi

Monday, February 17, 2014

The Pigger Playing

There it is again!  Small mind. An attention seeking little person, waving its arms, jumping up and down and shouting "me, me, look at me, I have something to say, I know that."

Let's not completely demonize little mind, it handles the day-to-day, work-a-day concerns like shopping and that red light up there and what to pay the babysitter.  All these small things are both important and they have their place. 

It seems to me, little mind is mostly concerned with that which is associated with the basics, to survive and thrive, (beyond immediate fight, flight and freeze). It makes the decisions about how to nourish the body (or not), how to care for the body (or not), what to do about emotion and sensations (or not). Sometimes it can get stuck in a rut of bad habits where we feel we don't have choice; where we feel the "or nots" are the ones in control.   

Small mind can be very, very sticky (and tricky) it may have us believing that "our thoughts, words inside our heads; images, pictures inside our heads; and sensations, inside our bodies"* are real. They are not, they are just thoughts, just images, and just sensations. Important yes, but not the absolute truth only, just one version of the truth. 

When you (I, we) wake up to the understanding that whatever version of truth you abide by is a product of culture, religion, upbringing, sex, environment, so it goes. The wild card is a matter of perception. Perception is like a filter, the red filter colours our world red, whatever that means to us. Red could mean love or anger, that is the perception. How you perceive the world is your choice; how you respond to your perceptions with voice and action (or not) is also your choice. Once you realize that you perceive the world through your conditioning, upbringing, life experiences and so forth, you have choice.  You have choice because you are aware of your perceptions. 

Perhaps this is one shade of big mind. And what is this big mind? It is simply an invitation (in human terms) to be with what is, to experience that which is already occurring naturally in every possible form of expression all ways what ever, where ever, when ever. Why? Because it is. It is an awareness of reality that transcends the personal. 

It is, as Rumi expresses on emotions in the inspirational "The Guest House" "an expected visitor". He encourages to "Welcome and entertain them all!" It is not the what that is happening but the acceptance of it because it is happening. 

In this moment of openness you can not guess what you're being opened up for. It is also more then these emotions that cause us to e-mote and make motion, it is all this beyond all grasping and rejecting, without beginning and end. The very nature of this so-called "big mind" is that words can not describe nor compare. It is the impersonal happening personally.  It is as if mind is a sky with all manner of weather coming and going. No matter how we, in these meat suits feel or think about it, the sky and the weather goes on and on and on. 

Any feeble attempt to describe it is merely a description, just a finger pointing at the moon. Or in my puny (read punny) sense of humour, a pigger pointing at the moon. 

*"The Happiness Trap" by Dr Russ Harris

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Yoga Practice; Yoga Play

Seriously, folks. Life is serious enough with our work-a-day worries, concerns of future tough stuff or scary ghosts in the closet. There is no reason why time on our mat in yoga practice needs to be the same. 
Yes, we can be committed, dedicated, devoted to our practice.  Bring all those attributes and with a quality of play, awaken the divine.   That sense of play, in sanskrit, Lila acknowledges the cosmic play, this, all of this, whirling and dancing in all possible permutations. The exquisite perfection of play is when we forget who we pretend to be and who we truly are begins to stir. Yoga stirs the pot; play stirs the soul. Yoga as play beckons us to let go, invites us to take the practice less seriously. Divine play awakens when the asanas practice us. 

Seriousness as firmness is brittle and easily broken. In play, we explore flexibility, our body is free to move, emotions free to express themselves and spirit free to soar.  When we laugh, when we take all of this less seriously we open up to the possibility of just settling into the moment as it is. 

And then, accepting this as it is, the veils of illusion lift, and we remember. From the wisdom of Mufasa in "The Lion King". "You have forgotten who you are and so have forgotten me. Look inside yourself, Simba. You are more than what you have become. You must take your place in the Circle of Life." 

Yes, no matter what the practice we can never step out of this circle of birth, life and death. We are it. It is encoded in our DNA; it is the energy that we are; it is the whole in one.

This is not a description of how or even if you should practice yoga. For me, play helps me to move deeper in awareness of this intimate connection with source. Play invites me to relax into the experience of unification moving beyond oneness as “just an idea”. Don’t believe me. Try it yourself! Fall out of a balance laughing, chuckle quietly at the seriousness of you and look to the children (you are one).

Let yoga (asanas, meditation, way of life)  be play instead of a means to an end. Because there is no end. We are all all ways intimately dancing in this circle of life. 

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Write on...

Since way back when, as long as I can remember, I’ve always been a writer.  I don’t really ever recall thinking I want to be  a writer.  It’s just something I innately knew and actually did.  As I think back, it was not so much of a calling as a listening. I intuited, I listened and then described the ideas and thoughts with words which then were arranged into sentences and other vehicles of penned (yes back then we used pens or pencils) expression. Sometimes it was styled as poetry; other times prose. It struck me that this was prosetry. 

At this time I wasn't even writing to amuse or impart wisdom. I was just playing; this was wordplay. As I grew older it became word working. Then I would add my own not very kind words, “I’m not a good enough writer,” “I don’t know enough to publish a book.” “I don’t have enough life experience to give what I write value.” I am now listening to the poisonous self-criticism that stopped me from being/doing many things because it came with an “I’m not good enough,” clause. 

As sure as I was of being a writer, I also was sure I didn’t want to be a teacher. Teaching was the profession and, for some, a vocation of many of my relatives.  For whatever reason, I did not want to follow in that track.  Maybe my not good enough voice was sabotaging what I really was good enough at, teaching. 

I laugh at this other me, this younger naive me, I laugh with compassion, from a wiser me who knows that all steps on the journey have brought me to the perfect place, exactly where I am. I know now that writing is teaching. 

I think/feel perhaps I may catch this trick of light that we call life, just out of the corner of my eye. But the moment I turn to focus on it, that’s not what it is at all. It’s far greater, far more mysterious, far more wonderful then I could ever word. And that is good enough for me.