just be it It’s about the work involved in establishing a dedicated practice to feelings of a bigger belonging through practices aimed at increasing feelings of compassion, gratitude and forgiveness

The Illusion of Static Balance

Published on 13/10/16
by randy


Yesterday I had a fascinating discussion with two very dear friends. One an amazing athlete, the other a life long body builder. They had just come from one of their first yoga classes and were amazed at the new challenges presented to them. Both of them contrasted the slower pace of the postures and the perceived difference of ‘static’ balance and ‘moving’ balance. I used to think this way, also. Yet, the more we practice these balance traditions, the more we see there is no such thing as static. Impermanence is always there and we only have the illusion of stopping. Whether in seated meditation or moving meditation practices like Vinyasa yoga or Tai Chi, there is always the next arising moment and the more refined our awareness the more we can see this. Just as the wave in form is always moving, our bodies never cease movement. The illusion of permanence and separateness forever become more obvious the more we practice.

Essentially, the more we practice the more we surrender concepts of our self (ego) and come into alignment with our center. In yoga, the term ‘asana’ means balanced posture. It doesn’t mean static or fixed posture. It has to do with depth. As we challenge balance in moving from four point, three point, two point, and eventually one legged postures, we’re forever refining our perceptual awareness of center. From a witness mind, we gently and safely wrap the poses around the breath. Perhaps we put awareness to changing sensations in the foot, or we witness thought streams coming and going (or maybe not going). By stabilizing the body in alignment we can go with awareness into the areas where the tension is or the emotion is. It’s mindful, slow and intimate. It’s a forever changing process where we open to something that can’t be defined or put into language. There’s a curiosity and joy in discovery as we challenge the further release of tension so we can show up in alignment to what’s coming up. These practices are tools that provide a spaciousness for inquiry. It breaks our addiction to tension, opens us, and allows insights to arise. There’s a vulnerability and surrender that move us from reason/logic of the head to the heart. Elkhart Tolle calls this place ‘above thinking’. Plato and Socrates called this place wisdom, the truth that I come to when I accept the fact that I know nothing.

Real balance is forever in movement from the heart. It’s bottomless and as a life long practice challenges us to hold our center in the face of cultural gravity. We come to hold all people’s journeys as sacred. We hold balance in our love for each other recognizing the trauma and suffering we all have to work through. It’s a process of committing to being bigger than who we ‘think’ we are. It’s what some have called the discovery of Self from self (ego). Real balance from the center breaks the illusion of separateness and permanence, opening us to the next emergency moment, ready to show up balanced, non-reactive, and poised to be our best. It’s why I like to think of life as the practice of cultivating our stability (awareness of center) on an unstable platform that’s forever moving. Our joy and success in life are directly related to our willingness to ‘wake up’ to this, to engage consciousness over unconsciousness, awareness over unawareness, and above thinking over under thinking. It’s about our willingness to be pilgrims to the unknown, centered in faith to that which is bigger than us, in joy for the very gift of the next moments mystery. This is the essence of ‘just be it’.

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