Thursday, November 11, 2010

not trying

Limbs stretched, supported fully by the floor, I assumed the posture for deep relaxation. But I knew it would be just a posture -- a war with my mind would inevitably begin.

The moving meditation of the asana sequence should prepare the mind to fully let go and just be. But I have the hardest time with savasana, the pose of deep relaxation that seals a yoga practice. 

My teacher talks about finding that inner point of stillness, where the true self resides. The self that is not your thoughts, that cannot be undone by external events. In that space, my teacher says, you will find peace. Bliss, even.

It sounds so beautiful. I want to go there.

But I fight so hard against my mind. Now gently leading it to silence, now shouting at it to just shut up already. Savasana is never unpleasant -- it feels good to be bodily still, no one climbing on me, no one demanding anything of me, even if my mind won't stop moving -- but I've never really found that sweet spot.

Last night at yoga class, my teacher left us in savasana with these final words:

     No more trying. Just accepting.

My eyes were still closed but my mind opened wide. Wait, say that again? I literally vibrated with the truth carried in her voice.

And I did. I stopped trying. Stopped fighting and cajoling and begging and just let it be. My mind still wandered but I let the deviations come and go without trying. I let it go. My body sank into the floor, and when I got up at the end of class, I put my teacher's words in my pocket and took them home.

And I'm pinning them up today to remind myself to seek softness, even when I'm in the middle of great effort.

     No more trying, just accepting.

I know I've heard these words before, but sometimes, it seems, bits of wisdom just bounce off the concrete surface of an unripe mind.

Today, I'm ready to swallow them whole. Let those seeds germinate, take root, and grow into something bigger. I'm ready to find my bliss.