March 2013: THE IMMEDIACY OF FEELING…
Here’s to the magnificent art of feeling. I love the immediacy of feelings…allowing myself to be available to them.
In yoga so often there is great emphasis on equanimity of mind in all situations.
But what is so often forgotten is that yoga also honors our humanity—the fact that we live through human experiences.
Yoga is the great science of human living and learning
in order to allow greater health and receptivity to our spiritual truth.
We are everything, the all, the sacred and the divine. AND…we are enabled to experience and interact in the world only because we are born into body/mind consciousness. Because of that, as humans we get to interact, make mistakes and maybe learn, and we ALSO have the opportunity of equanimity of mind.
It is my observation that denying our human tendencies can become an all encompassing futile task. Surely it is not a problem that we are capable of feeling, however, our relationship to these feelings can be problematic.
If we can accept that we are here to interact with the possibility to learn, then we can easily see that part of learning is feeling. It seems to me a fabulous part of the human experience is the opportunity to feel.
All too often we confuse our feelings with our identity—‘I am angry, ‘I am depressed’, ‘I am happy’, etc. These proclamations are subconscious prophecies that become self actualized perception of your character. People tend to live up to the identity that they give themselves. I would like to suggest a different way of relating to feelings—‘I am feeling sad, depressed, happy’, etc. You are not your anger—you are experiencing anger. This distinction honors your right to feel without misidentifying yourself as such.
Feelings vibrate and awaken different aspects of your body/mind. This can be very helpful information in understanding your nature.
The trick is to honor the reaction, to give yourself time/space to feel without drowning with the emotions that surround feelings. You see all of us sometimes become so intoxicated and consumed with these emotions that we can identify our self with the label of that reaction. We must accept our ability to feel and develop the sensitivity to know that it is a privilege and not an identity.
I have great respect for the
vibratory experiences of feelings.
Feelings are a necessary and beautiful part of our human nature and I have observed how powerful they can be as a sounding board of self-study (svadyaya). As though calling into a canyon (your body/mind) and then hearing the echo come back (feelings). The echo is not you but rather a reflection of you mixed with everything within that environment, under those particular internal/external circumstances,—that is what feelings are. Feelings not only allow us to process, heal and relate but like antennae, they give us information—help us understand the environment both within our body/mind and its surroundings.
Yoga is not despite the human domain
—not a negation of our individual existence.
Yoga is a comprehensive study guide for the human experience
with an invitation into the quiet peace of oneness.
Through our practice we learn how to healthfully navigate through the offerings of life, You see, in order for us to practice this great science, we must accept our perfectly-imperfect-(again) perfect humanity and celebrate the gift of individual consciousness within the context of the whole. As individual conscious body/minds, we have the opportunity to learn exactly what is needed to help us realize the harmony that already exists.
What if your life circumstances are a series of offerings—opportunities to feel and learn the very thing that you need in order bring about greater sensitivity to the ultimate home of interconnected Oneness?
So much of classical yoga text is studied literally as indeed ‘even under all circumstances’, ‘equal under all circumstances’. Should we stride toward not feeling? That is not a goal I can subscribe to, nor is it my understanding or experience with yoga. Over and over again, my experiences with the harmonious state of yoga empowers my living/interrelating skills. Having the goal to know that you are not your feelings while respecting them, IS a goal I am interested in.
So with patience and compassion, I invite you to practice Yoga