When you look in the mirror, what do you see?
At the beginning of our classes, when the lights come up, there's an invariable ripple across the room. The fidgets & wiggles as adjustments are made.
As we move through the asanas, the physical energies are aligned. The urges to move unconsciously are harnessed by the discipline to move consciously. We shift from thinking into feeling. And, by the time we reach Savasana, we can truly appreciate the moment of stillness. Sometimes any remaining fidgets & wiggles are felt all the way across the room, like an army assaulting our personal fortress of peace!
This year, Corinna Luyken has offered more than a glimpse of wisdom in her book for young readers, the tree in me. Inspired by the teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh, Luyken peers deeply into the roots of wisdom. But, this isn't a book review. This is an appeal, a call to action, if you will.
The principles of karma, which may be oft misunderstood in pop culture, are about the lessons within our reflections. The practice of karma is one of connecting with what is real within you. When our reflection is clouded by misperception, we see the flaws, not the wisdom.
When our mind is clear our vision is sharp, we can see our truest nature. In the physical sense, that focus is our drishti. In the greater sense, the single-pointed focus is ekagrata. We aspire to feel the connection to the great wisdom within our souls. Sometimes we need to move through the intensity of physical postures and heat, turn out the lights and close our eyes, just to create the space for connection. This is the practice of action.
Thich Nhat Hahn offers many examples of this practice, in his book Peace is Every Step. One lesson from the book is titled "Nourishing Healthy Seeds," in which he asks the reader to find seeds of thought that resonate health and happiness. In the practice of karma, the seeds are called bija, and the practice is bija bindu - focusing the energy of the seeds.
With such grace and elegance, Luyken reminds us that we are a reflection of our seeds. Our lives grow up and out from the seeds. Our true nature began with a seed. The practice, then, is to see the beauty and wisdom in our own healthy seeds. In her words, "because there is a tree, and a sky, and a sun in me."
In your own practice, we encourage you to connect with what is real in you. When we find union with that, we can embrace and nourish the healthy seeds. Sometimes, the practice may require the actions required to create the space, to clear out the clutter and distractions. Like preparing your garden for new seeds. The best seeds are there. But, if we surround them with weeds and pollute the soil, then the seeds will not grow and blossom into their best expression.
As we step onto our mats, see the seeds of wisdom within you. If you cannot see them, close your eyes and feel your connection to them. If you cannot feel that connection, then practice with an intention to create the space necessary for the seeds to grow, to blossom, to flourish in your life. Then, your practice will be a reflection of the true wisdom within.
We wish you the very best in health, in happiness, and may you be protected from suffering now & always.
Click below for links to the books