Monday, November 17, 2008
Who's that...? Oh it's the Witness!!
A new-be to the Yoga world, I have just uncovered a treasure that is probably pretty apparent to most people who have followed Yogic or Buddhist philosophy for a while!!!! Jack Kornfield ;)
It totally happened by accident... I think that I had read his name on the home page of Yoga Journal...and then a couple of days later (possibly weeks...I live in the freakin moment...no time for days or weeks...) I found a Jack Kornfield book called After The Ecstasy, The Laundry. I was blown away by it. I won't go into the premise of the book...just read it or listen (I actually have the audio book).
You know how sometimes you'll hear a piece of advice coming from a whirlwind of sources telling you "This is the way...Do it like this!!" And you'll hear this advice about a thousand and six times... and then one day you're just sitting in your car on your break. And you begin to listen Jack Kornfield on your ipod. *And keep in mind I've never heard this mans voice before* And all of a sudden you hear this soft, calm, slow but exceedingly comfortable voice. And this voice tells you "This is the way...Do it like this!!" And somehow you seem to forget every other time you heard the advice in past because those times mean nothing now that you're really hearing it for the first time!!
Welcome to my new reality.
So now that I am a pseudo student of Jack's (we're tight), and have been meditating more and more... I am lead to the place that meditation can take you... The Witness! I don't think that I ever spent too much time in the Witness. Being Unbiased and neutral but still very enthusiastic about that which is being witnessed... I was pretty complacent as a youth...super lazy and un-involved... I was interested in knowledge and philosophy and science but was just so unmotivated to take any of it... But now? I'm am witnessing some crazy shit!!! When you meditate you really start to examine what your sources are. Where you came from... What choices you have made you who you are?
Today I really figured out that exceeding low self-esteem is my main reason for being a Yogi today. It was this lack of self-esteem that lead me to weight training... It was weight training and a real interest in myself that lead me to feeling comfortable in my own skin. It was also this interest that lead me to being interested in Anatomy and Physiology... which in turn lead to and lead to and lead to until we're here. And I found Yoga!!
But the things that I've heard over and over and just realized lately are all about our generosity in life. How much are we willing to give? How much time, how much effort? This concept of giving really put it's hand on me a couple of days ago when I was teaching a semi private session. Both of my students came in feeling depressed and sub-par. During our warm up of Sun Salutations I had said something to the effect that "In our Yoga practice we need to have a little faith... Faith in yourself to lead you to the right place in your practice and faith in the breath to help get you there." This really struck an accord with one of the girls so much that she actually stopped doing Sun A and just wanted to listen to what I had to say. She asked me a question and then another and rather than teaching Asana for the rest of the session we just talked. They asked questions and I gave answers if I had them.
The thing that I like most about Yoga is that it's so experiential... You need to do it to get it. "99% practice" as Pattabhi Jois says. So most of my answers for the ladies were based on my experiences and how I interpreted such experiences. The more questions they asked, the more I found myself really sharing my story with them. Telling them things that even my friends don't really hear about. After the session we all hugged and I felt this feeling that I had never gotten after teaching a class... This feeling that I had done something generous.... My epiphany... By listening to their questions and sharing my experiences I had practiced generosity. And it felt good.... Could this be a trend!!??
So hear it is....you've heard it before... Generosity is the key!! Generosity to those around you and also generosity towards yourself. Try it if you haven't. Real generosity... without consideration of reward or praise... just pure generosity!! Keeping with the season, now is the perfect time.