Saturday, June 20, 2009

117/170 -- Asana and Meditation

Thursday off.
Friday 4:30 pm with Sherry.

I took off Thursday because Friday marks the beginning of the studio's summer challenge. I'm not 100% committed to it, but if I can get through the first 10 days or so, without schedule problems, then I think I'll try to push through for 30 days or more.

Friday's class was good. The early afternoon class is sometimes too close to lunch. And they say that one definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results. Well, I insanely had some pizza for lunch again. It wasn't quite so bad, but it did knock me out of one set of Locust.

Other than that, I really can't remember much of anything about Friday's class. I felt great afterwards, though.

The day 168 meditation starts with a quote from Kahlil Gibran. A while back I complained about some Tom Petty lyrics. Well, Before reading Gibran, I'd rather listen to hour after hour of Tom Petty whining his lyrics accompanied by, say, bagpipes and accordian. I remember people trying to get me interested in him a long time ago, and all I could see were false, or trite, profundities. Here, I'm just gonna say that I don't get it, and let it go at that.

I do like Gate's idea that all of our deeds and actions are our children. I also like the idea of the asana making us into something like a bow: stable, flexible, and strong.

The day 169 meditation suggests turning asana practice into meditation. Gates suggests: "At the beginning of your next practice, tell yourself, "I will keep my mind in the now. I will devote my attention solely to the posture I am in right now." Well, duh! This is exactly what we are supposed to be doing during Bikram practice, and we are reminded of it again and again. It's a 90 minute moving meditation. What strikes me as being so cool about this, is that Gates treats this step as if its something unusual. Asana and meditation, I guess, are treated differently in other schools. In Bikram, if you are paying attention, asana and meditation are the same thing, and its done exactly the way Gates describes here.

When you try this, at first, your mind will be all over the place. The nice thing is that you have the dialogue to focus on, and the postures pretty much demand all of your attention anyways. Even with that, its easy for the mind to zoom all over the place.

The next steps that Gates discuss are much easier said than done. Rather than conquer or judge the unruliness in our minds, Gates says we should try to embrace and understand it. That way will lead to surrender and then to the first steps into the light. This process is very much an on and off thing with me. I don't beat myself up as much as I used to, but the times when I feel like there is a true surrender, at least for any length of time, are few and far between.

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