Saturday, February 21, 2009

37/51 - Outdated Ideas

Friday 10:30 am with Miranda

I'm going to post twice today because I don't want to collapse the meditations for the two days into a single post.

Yesterday's class was wonderful.  For the first time, maybe ever, I breezed through the back strengthening series.  I was going at least as deep in the poses as I usually do, and deeper in Locust and Bow Pose.  But for some reason that I can't put my finger on, it felt effortless.  And as a result, instead of trying to recover from a beat-down for the rest of the class, I pretty much sprang from pose to pose, and was really happy to be there.  

The ease of the floor series, the feeling of being completely in tune with what I was doing, so overshadowed the rest of the class that I now remember basically nothing from the standing series.  And its weird, over time I've come to realize that not remembering anything about class is generally a good sign.

Yesterday's meditation goes deeper into the idea of not getting attached to your ideas.  In some ways, this whole concept seems very foreign.  We're taught from a very young age to admire people with convictions, with principles.  But it sounds here like its better for us not to be attached to our convictions.

Of course, the line between conviction and dogma is very fine, and sometimes which is which is simply a matter of whether you stand on one side of the line or the other.  And, each of the yamas has been trying to instill a positive value, one that I think Gate's would say is worth believing in: love, generosity, etc... 

So, the trick, I think, is to find a way to separate the truly valuable ideas from the "outdated" ideas.  But, then it occurs to me that I'm probably wrong about this as well.  Like other spiritual parts of yoga, I suspect that this one is a) very practical and not something to do in the abstract, and b) a process that will prove itself over time.  I think the idea is to allow yourself to entertain doubts about all your ideas, to not grow too attached to any of them.  If you can do this with honesty and humility, then the ones that are not worthwhile will simply fall away of themselves.  And in the end, the proof of this process will be in the results.  The cool thing about this, and one that also seems to be a bit contradictory, is that it raises skepticism to a kind of spiritual virtue.  I like that idea quite a bit.

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