Meditation has been been around as long as Buddhism. Are people making time for practices that nurture the spirit body? If so what keeps us showing up for the practice? In talking to people I hear most people say, “I have had this pain or that crisis and I would rather not create more stress”, or I see people showing up once a month to their “beloved yoga class” seeking temporary relief from a hard day, week, month?
These are my questions as I contemplate the path of yoga teacher, and studio owner, and healer. Most of my life my bodywork practice has had me questioning joint mobilization, chronic and karmic pain, helping clients change habits lodged deep in the sub conscious. But now at 53, attempting to walk my talk, and trying to seamlessly mingle spiritual practice with business, I have simplified my quest to one nagging question. Why show up on the pillow, at the studio, or meditation?
Life is complex enough, and adding the expectation of enlightenment or heighten consciousness might be another responsibility that most people “just do not have time for”. Yet in eastern cultures choosing a monastic path is thought to be the highest most esteemed career. Here is Silicon Valley, CA, for most people, it boils down to promotion in the corporate maze.
This morning as I drank my coffee I immersed myself into the latest Shambala Sun Magazine, and was intrigued with a 1971 teaching from Chogym Trungpa Rinpoche, on the instruction on meditation. In the Buddhists tradition it begins with the Sanskrit word, “Bhavana”. This word means spiritual exertion, or discipline. When we are disciplined the practice is a journey towards knowing yourself. “ Meditation is very simple and extremely down to earth, to the extent that it’s irritatingly down to earth. The down to earth practice of meditation, you can see the colors of your own existence. The earth begins to come back to you rather than that you are getting messages from heaven, so to speak.”
As I read the article I realized the practice of yoga, meditation or asana, mantra etc. is a main emotional, nutritional, spiritual component that lives at the ground floor of our subconscious. If we dip in and out of practice we are left with our jiggered nervous system dragging us from emotion to emotion or impulse to impulse.
When we build our yoga practice we have a soft calm, ocean like field that surrounds and weaves through our nervous system affecting the mind, body, and softens our ability to be mindful in our everyday existence. I want to believe as a member of the human race we are in the world to live fully and access our vitality. Maybe the key towards living with joy in our heart and inner peace in our mind begins with loving oneself enough to consistently showing up for inward discovery. That would certainly count as enlightenment to me.