The Buddha, The Dharma, The Sangha

"Spiritual powers and their wondrous functioning--hauling water and carrying firewood." --Layman Pang, upon his realization

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Gratitude of Body

Last weekend I had the opportunity to participate in Yoga For Health, a weekend intensive of yoga history, philosophy, anatomy and physiology, not to mention more Sun Salutations I ever thought possible!  It was a great change of pace.
By Sunday afternoon, after practicing various asanas and discussing their correct components and constructs, I began to understand how deeply and unconsciously I live in my mind. My body was weary, but well used.  I was deeply relaxed and felt simply opened.  What was there to actually "think" about?  There was nothing but the moment, and that did not require thought. What a relief.
When I feel this sensation, I sometimes envision my chest as a medicine cabinet--the heart center swings open like a door, where everything in revealed.  Everything we need is right here, in the medicine cabinet of the chest.
       Too often I am so deeply ensconced in thought and thinking, I barely sense my body's continuous miracle.  I remember as a child, stumbling if I thought too much about walking--my hyper-awareness brought insecurity, then wonder, then ecstasy!  I had to run and skip and jump to solidify body/mind intention!  And to think, I could do it all on my own.  It still seems utterly amazing that these legs can swing me forward, backward, any where I want to go.  I can jump into a puddle, step over it or go around.  
In meditation and yoga, we can come to a subtle body-knowledge, a place outside of mind.  We can focus on the stretch of back muscles in Rounded Cat Back, and feel our breath in those muscles.  In meditation, we can experience the tenderness of a single breath, a breath so unassuming it frequently goes un-notice. Yet there is no living without that breath!
My yoga practice and Buddhist practice are interconnected.   When I practice yoga with others, as I did over the weekend, I am with my yoga sangha.  We practice Ahimsa together, the art of non-harming, beginning with our own bodies and extending that wish to every sentient being.  
Is this not a path to the life of the Bodhisattva? 

The Four Immeasurable Vows

Sentient Beings are numberless, I vow to liberate them.
Delusions are endless, I vow to end them.
The ways of Compassion and Wisdom are boundless, I vow to embody them.
The Way is unattainable, I vow to attain it.

The Book Of Common Meditation, Blue Mountain Lotus Society

 For T & B & P, In Gratitude 

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