Refining Why #38 April 23, 2018
I set out to write this blog after much deliberation, in fact, years. I look around and see so much writing, posting, tweeting, and I wondered, I still wonder, is there any need for more words? Is anybody reading never mind listening and contemplating? What I wanted, want, is dialogue. Apparently I don’t seem to know how to make that happen. At least not on this platform. And still I write. Still I offer.
Of course there is skill involved. Skill of the writer to communicate, skill of presentation, skill of getting the message out, I know my limitations and still I write. I send words that have been incubated in both deep study and experience, that come from my heart out into the—where exactly? Where do they land?
Perhaps the better question here is why. Why am I writing this blog? It is important to refresh the why of anything, to revisit our inspiration and motivation. Otherwise we risk staleness, a kind of rote didactic offering void of any feeling or power, sakti in yoga-speak.
I am dedicated to bringing the light to bear in my own life as much as possible and I know that this possibility grows daily. I know that this growth happens naturally, spontaneously and that I can cooperate with it. My writing is cooperation then for myself and also for others because I know I am not unique or alone in wanting to bring the light to bear. I understand that a thing, any thing, is never known just once if it is to grow and flourish. So I keep revisiting and refining what I know in both intellect and experience; writing helps me to tease out the glimpses of deeper understanding found in the light of both.
Light reveals and also assists in the act of removal, of transformation. In that it is both sweet and fiery.
I've spent a good part of my life dedicated to assisting people in changing their behavior. There are many good theoretical models our there to aid in this important work and experts of every sort are needed to bring it about.
Yet the recidivism rate is disheartening. People cannot maintain change even when they truly, achingly, desperately want to do so. What prevents this at the deepest level is the question I've turned my attention to. I am not saying that work on the level of the surface of life is not important or that it does not need to continue and indeed expand. I am simply saying some thing more is needed. That something not only serves those desirous of change, but those assisting in that process.
I write about the value of a daily meditation practice. The benefits/by-products are many from both a physical and psychological stance. By now the list is well known, reduce stress, decrease blood pressure, increased sense of calmness, a slowing down, etc. But as has been pointed out by others, many things brings these responses; go for a run, listen to a beautiful piece of music and blood pressure falls, momentarily we are transported. This is beautiful and we are after more.
Meditation is the trajectory of growth in awareness. It is not visualization or mindfulness, beautiful practices that are all increased via time spent in that deep absorptive state. Meditation IS expansion in consciousness vs contraction. It brings the increased capacity to move from light as opposed to darkness, to live and act from fullness as opposed to limitation. It is the journey in to source, to the space of vast silence that is yet dynamically alive, and pulsing with emergent possibility. The key word here is alive.
That possibility shapes itself in our moment by moment awareness. How can it get through clearly? How can we have a direct immediate path to it? What is blocking us from knowing and experiencing this? The problem, is not that our ego is too big, it is too small. It is contracted and small and in that limitation we suffer.
It is not a matter of convincing yourself that you are worth the effort or deserving of something, though attention here is necessary, it alone cannot reach those subtle structures where thoughts take shape. It alone cannot clear the storehouse of experiences we carry in our mind-body. Yoga teaches us that every experience we have, positive, negative or neutral, leaves its trace in our very DNA. These traces lie in wait to be animated when something triggers them.
The body with its limitations and challenges is precisely the arena that joy takes place. This speaks of movement’s necessity as it prepares the body mind. How does the light shape itself in order to disclose and reveal what it contains? How does our light do the same?
Form and shape release in order to shape again. In our bodies it is the practice of asana, form made that permits energy’s flow unencumbered, health and ease result. And, as has been pointed out, other forms of movement may do this too.
In the deepest core of being it is the practice of meditation. Individual awareness melts as it is effortlessly merged with its source reshaping into higher iterations as it moves back out. Awareness no longer caught, trapped in the persistent, limiting shapes and contours of reality is expanded. Even that which is familiar takes on a new luster.
What are we re-shaping? Do we simply return to the same shape or permit the tender, subtle reconstruction to occur?
To effect at the roots we must go deep, we must move from the gross to the subtle. Change here naturally brings change at the surface expression. We work then from both ends, water the roots and attend to the budding flowers with love and care.
Is there anything else that offers change at the deepest subtlest levels of existence? Change that is not dependent on outside forces or substances ingested; change that is not merely words offered, however inspirational and well meaning.
It is my meditation practice that has shown me more and more how to bring the light to my own life and it is my gratitude for this, and my longing to do something about the contraction, the fear I also experience in the world around me that moves me to write, to teach, to speak.
So here I am again, another Monday. Another consideration another impulse I send out into the world freely. I must admit it is challenging to send something out feeling that it may be just more white noise that no one is hearing; to have no expectation. But I do have hope. And while hope does grow with feedback it is not dependent upon it. For hope to be more, it must have some basis in truth. My hope springs from my experience, in order to bring the light, one must know the light not as a mere hope or philosophical discussion, but as the very source of creative possibility found in one’s very own being, freely given.
Expand your consciousness and bring the light to bear. The world needs you.