Yoga is the perfect opportunity to be curious about who you are. ~ Jason Crandell
For those wounded by civilization, yoga is the most healing salve. ~ Terri Guillemets
The deeper I go into practice, the more I become aware of how complicated I make life sometimes. There are all these layers of the mind that peel away. It reminds me of the way the experience of the asanas changes on a physical level. For the first few dozen or even hundred downward facing dogs, the experience is pretty much holding your breath and looking forward to coming down. And then suddenly, one day you actually feel what it means to inwardly rotate the thighs and spread the hip bones and all this space opens up in the pose. And it will change your world, that feeling. See if it doesn't.
Like this, too, in the mind. At first, learning to breathe through and experience difficult emotions without acting, I thought I was learning to deal with the present. (Side note: when I say that it sounds as if I have already learned to breathe through and experience difficult emotions without acting. I can assure you, I haven't. That's why they call it "practice.") Anyhow, I'm starting to realize that a strong emotional reaction is almost never about the present. It's a sure sign that I'm holding a past wound up as evidence in a present situation - probably holding it against someone who had nothing to do with the original pain in the first place. Take a close look and see if this isn't true. And it will change your world, that understanding.
I started this post out thinking that I was going to write about breathing through reactions in the present and then boom! Insight. Look out - you never know when it's coming. Originally, I was going to explore my reaction to a harassing comment left here, but now I see I don't have to. That comment, in the present, means nothing. Who knows why people do these things? His problem is not my problem. The pain and uncertainty and anger it triggered - that's old stuff, really old stuff. And the illusion of ego. Right now, in the present, there's just clarity and a sense of compassion.
The content of this post may have evolved, but I can keep the title because the time is now. Peel away all those layers of history, and inside is the jewel. It is all these illusions that are complicated. The present is incredibly simple. I wonder what is behind the next layer?