Friday, May 8, 2009

90/128 - Reflection of the Heart

4:30 pm with Danielle

It appears that Danielle and I are on the same schedule now.  Either that, or she's started teaching all the time.  She led another good class with high energy, and very good pacing.

I originally planned on going in the morning, but I had a meeting early, and then an eye doctor appointment.  (If anyone is interested, my eyes are still good.  For the first time ever, the doctor optionally recommended some reading glasses.  He's amazed that I still read without undue strain, and without getting headaches.  But there it is.  I've said for a while that I would like to make it to 50 without any glasses and I've only got 3 1/2 months to go.  It's a small matter of pride, but I still think I will stick with it.)  Then in the afternoon, I thought I would have to miss class to finish some work on a contract. 

I must have suspected, however, that I might finish in time.  For whatever reason, I ate a lunch that was compatible with taking class even though I thought I wasn't going to go.  And yes, that means no pizza with sausage, or mexican food.  And then, I found myself finishing with barely enough time to rush over to the studio.

Class started off pretty well.  I was just so happy to be there that it provided a real uplift for most of the standing series.  And my stamina was good.  But I think I may have overdone things in the standing series, because the floor was a bit of a struggle.  I barely had enough strength to pull myself through back strengthening series, and from there, I started to feel hot.  Not overwhelmed, really, but also not at peace.  Even so, I kept myself together, did a stong rabbit, and ended the class respectably.

After class, Danielle asked me if my back was bothering me.  It wasn't, and she said it looked like I was in pain in final savasana.  That was news to me, and I don't really know what to make of it.  My eyes were closed, and I wasn't aware of my making any facial expression at all.  And I don't think I was feeling particularly bad either.  It may simply have been a remnant of struggling through the latter part of class.  I think I may ask her to keep an eye out for the same thing the next time I have class with her.  I have no reason to doubt what she observed, and it can't be a good thing.  So it's probably a good idea to keep some track of this.

The grimacing relates to the core of the Day 127 meditation.  Gate's closes the meditation by saying that "the world we live in is a reflection of our hearts."   I think this is beautifully put.  I've said several times here that the world of a happy person differs from the world of an unhappy person, and I think this is another way of getting at the same point.   Today, I thought that the second half of class was hard and a struggle, and for me it got hot.  Could I have changed my perception of the heat, and of how hard the poses were, simply by changing my attitude?  by altering my heart?  Probably so.  This means I probably need to be a bit more forgiving of myself, and especially forgiving of showing occasional signs of weakness in Locust or Full Locust.  

Back to the meditation.  Gates eloquently describes the bitterness he harbored toward the Boston of his youth.  That was the Boston of school desegregation, forced bussing, and heightened racial tensions that must have been extremely hard on a black kid being bussed to white schools where the parents (and kids) hated him and were very vocal about it.  He then talks about how he came back to Boston with a new attitude, after a spiritual awakening, and how he came to know the same neighborhoods, the same busses, and sometimes even the same people who hated him.  Only everything had changed, mostly because Gates' heart had changed.  He had managed to let go of his bitterness, and has grown to love the city he once hated. 

It's a lovely story and even a better lesson.  So much depends not on how things actually "are", whatever that means, but rather on how we react to things.  Thus, the world of the happy man truly does differ from the world of an unhappy man, precisely because, as Gates puts it, "the world we live in is a reflection of our hearts."


Bosco said...

The glass is always half full and half empty - take your pick.

I am grateful to one Mr. Marzo, who made the announcements at the beginning of the day for all my kids' junior high school days. He always concluded by saying: "Have a great day, or not. The choice is yours." So they all heard that hundreds and hundreds of times. And it is a simple, profound truth. What a great concept to get drilled into your head, and into your heart!

Duffy Pratt said...

That's pretty cool. Can you remember, or even imagine, anything similar from Southwoods or SHS? For inspiration, about the closest I can come is Lenny Mintz telling me that I really suck and that I will never be much of a basketball player. I heard THAT often enough.

thedancingj said...

Oh. I love that. :)

Bosco said...

I am glad none of my kids have had to suffer through anyone like Lenny Mintz - in hindsight he was quite a dark creature. People who really believe that a person's value is determined by their athletic abilities should not be permitted to coach. I realize that's borderline delusional, but that's my story and I'm sticking with it!

bikramyogachick said...

I love this post...thanks Duffy. And Bosco: "have a great day, or not. The choice is yours". What a great quote. Well stated and simply put, but so true!