I was contemplating this this morning in meditation and shortly thereafter, my neighbor, Glinda, shared this poem that recently surfaced for her:
(c) Glinda Addington
Time is standing still this Winter
No weather to speak of
Things are floating up
From the bottom of the pond
I resist the urge to submerge them
Drop rocks on them
Put them back down
They surface and float
I can't help but look again
This so embodies the intention of the practice I write about in Companioning the Sacred Journey: A Guide to Creating a Compassionate Container for Your Spiritual Practice. Compassionate mindfulness is about showing up for it all--letting the swirling motion of the unfolding to dance into and out of our awareness--so that we are not driven by it. There is a freedom that comes with not needing to change anything. A freedom that allows for more choice on the cushion and in our lives.
The book is about creating a compassionate space where it can all arise and pass away of its own accord, and choice is present. Doing anything different creates much difficulty and delusion--or suffering, as it is called in the Buddhist tradition.
Controlling or forcing outcomes is not to be mistaken with cultivating spacious and gracious energy like the energy arts such as Reiki, Tai Chi, and Xi Gong accomplish. Cultivating is different and it is sometimes hard to distinguish the subtleties between the two. But, cultivating is focused on the present moment and process and there is no attachment to the outcome, whereas controlling is mainly focused on the outcome and there is attachment, desire and a goal. A quiet mind. Peace. A pain-free body.
It's like the conceptual difference between range and form in Yoga that I learned about this morning while searching for asanas that would help me touch my toes. This striving to reach a particular goal is considered to be of the ego--I'm focused on the outcome, wanting to control my body to reach a particular configuration. Whereas, if I am centered in the soul, then my focus is on the moment and the ease and union of spirit, mind and body. I fully inhale and exhale and am at peace with the process and the form my individual body takes in the flow of each moment. How close I get to my toes is irrelevant.
Most of my yoga life, I've easily been able to center in the ego--focusing on the range--because of my size, flexibility and strength. This likens to my life in general, as I reflect, as I've been graced with many fine talents and attributes. But, as my body and mind age, I can no longer afford this focus without harmful consequences. Nor do I want or need to, as wisdom now shows me--as more magic happens when I'm soul-based in my decisions and movements, both on the mat and off.
I just finished perusing the Face Book page of my colleague, Artie Egendorf, PhD, who shares his way to increase the energy flow and offers 3 free videos on his website. Combining compassionate mindfulness and energy cultivation exercises is a profoundly transformational path and is featured in my book, the Introductory Course and the Mini Courses.
These three random events were presented this morning when I was concerned and asked the Universe for help on how to introduce my students to the concept of mindfulness meditation. Surrendering this morning led me to people and interconnected ideas that now forward my process for presenting more sacredly aligned teachings in my work. If I focus on the outcome, it will most likely not live up to my expectations, but if I focus on staying aligned with the energies of this moment, ask for help when I need it, and surrender to what unfolds, it will most likely be perfect for all those that attend.
Thank you, Universe, for these blessings and reminders!