The Path We Walk

“Diseases can be our spiritual flat tires – disruptions in our lives that seem to be disasters at the time but end by redirecting our lives in a meaningful way.”
~ Bernie S. Siegel

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Perfectly Imperfect

How many of you were taught to strive for perfection or always to give 110%?  In theory this may encourage us to “be the best that we can be”, but does this factor in that we are human? Also what about the fact that if you give 110% on one endeavor you will be running on a deficit for awhile?  What I am getting at is that we regularly ask so much of ourselves in one part of our life that we are unable to fully be present in other areas of our life. Not surprisingly this leads us to feeling discontented and disappointed. Letting go of the illusion of perfection and understanding that it is through the imperfect aspects of life that we find true meaning is not an easy lesson.  It is something that we consistently have to revisit. I hope that the following words of wisdom will help.

“Seek always to progress rather than perfect” ~Taro Gold

“Only the idea of something is perfect. It’s expression in material, worldly terms is a mere shadow of that idea.” ~Plato

“Mistakes are the portals of discovery.” ~James Joyce

Words that feed the soul…

Being a lifelong learner will keep life interesting and help guides us to understand the world and ourselves better.  When taking in new information always listen to your intuition for what FEELS true and what needs further investigation.

Practice Life

“The point of yoga is to develop a level of clarity and self-understanding so that when we’re done doing our yoga practice we make really good decisions, because that will determine whether we’re fulfilled. Not the quality of our poses. But really the yoga is what happens when we’re done practicing yoga.”

~Rod Stryker

Symbolism of the Lotus

Symbolism is used throughout human history. The “symbol is an object, action, or idea that represents something other than itself, often of a more abstract nature.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symbolism)  Within the practice of yoga there are many symbols used.  Each posture itself is infused with more meaning than simply it’s bio-mechanics.  For example, in Ananda yoga each posture has an affirmation:

Standing Backward Bend – ” I am free! I am free!”

Balasana – Child Pose – “I draw toward my inner peace”

Bhujangasana – Cobra Pose – “I rise joyfully to meet each new opportunity.”

Even without an assigned affirmation, I am sure that many of you could describe the feelings that many of the poses evoke.  What about more traditional ideas of symbols?  The lotus flower is often front and center at yoga studios, embossed within yoga texts and represented within asana.  I was recently given a lotus flower with an attached explanation of the flower’s meaning.

“The lotus flower is one of the most ancient and deepest symbols of our planet. The lotus flower grows in muddy water and rises above the surface to bloom with remarkable beauty.  At night the flower closes and sinks underwater, at dawn it rises and opens again. Untouched by impurity, lotus symbolizes the purity of heart and mind.

The roots of the lotus are in the mud, the stem grows up through the water, and the heavily scented flower lies pristinely above the water, asking for sunlight. This pattern of growth signifies the progress of the soul from the primeval mud of materialism, through the waters of experience, and into the bright sunshine of enlightenment.”

I love how this explanation makes note that “at night the flower closes and sinks underwater, at dawn it rises and opens again.” Reminding us that enlightenment is not a solid or permanent state, it is instead one aspect of a cycle.  What symbols play a role in your life or your understanding of yoga?  How do these symbols effect your practice?

The Grass so little has to do –

by Emily Dickinson

The Grass so little has to do –
A Sphere of simple Green –
With only Butterflies to brood
And Bees to entertain –
And stir all day to pretty Tunes
The Breezes fetch along –
And hold the Sunshine in its lap
And bow to everything –

And thread the Dews, all night, like Pearls –
And make itself so fine
A Duchess were too common
For such a noticing –

And even when it dies – to pass
In Odors so divine –
Like Lowly spices, lain to sleep –
Or Spikenards, perishing –

And then, in Sovereign Barns to dwell –
And dream the Days away,
The Grass so little has to do
I wish I were a Hay –

Published in: on April 9, 2012 at 6:57 am  Comments (1)  
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What do your words say?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hzgzim5m7oU&feature=player_embedded

Published in: on April 12, 2011 at 7:11 pm  Leave a Comment  
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