We remember our wholeness so readily because we don’t have far to look for it. It is always within us, usually as a vague feeling or memory left over from when we were children. But it is a deeply familiar memory, one you recognize immediately as soon you feel it again, like coming home after being away a long time. When you are immersed in doing without being centered, it feels like being away from home. And when you reconnect with being, even for a few moments, you know it immediately. You feel like you are at home no matter where you are and what problems you face. — Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D. “Full-Catastrophe Living; Using the Wisdom of the Body & Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness.”
At the end of class lately I have wanted to figure out how each person can give the big and sweet goodbye to themselves, like you give to a treasured friend who you don’t get to see often enough. That goodbye you stretch out, by saying again and again how good it was to see them in the flesh, or hear their voice, and that you will be thinking of them so much in the days ahead, with all that they have going on. I want everyone to get a chance to be together, with themselves, for a moment more and soak up all the love and grace there is, before we go back to being people who talk, listen, and pay attention more to the world around us.
I want people to be at home, as Jon Kabat-Zinn writes above, for a few more breaths.
Sometimes I miss myself, like I miss a good friend I’m out of touch with but love dearly. I feel homesick for quiet time with me. Despite being an extrovert, I get so weary of responding to every sight, smell, sound, touch, and idea that is plopped on to my spongy brain from outside of my skull.
The meditation mantra of the month is the word ASANA, which means “seat for prayer”. Asana is the physical practice of yoga. And YOGA is the practice of uniting, drawing together, and connecting in mind, body, and spirit. So, in a yoga class we practice asana in order to find that sensation of yoga. There are more paths to the experience or sensation of yoga than just asana, but asana was created as a way to quiet the mind in order to be able to pray, meditate, be still; to be at home no matter where you are and what problems you face.
This Sunday is the kickoff for the new Sunday, 4-5p.m. Wind-Down Yoga class at Uni Place Christian Church (Springfield & Wright). This Sunday’s class (Sept.11th) is a special Yoga Love Raiser to support the weekly community meal that Uni Place provides to more than 100 of the most vulnerable people among us. So, you give a big donation in exchange for the hour long practice of yoga (asana, remember?). After the Yoga Love Raiser, Wind-Down Yoga on Sundays, 4-5p.m. will be an ongoing class at Uni Place. $5 a class & you can buy a 10 class pass for $50 that is good for any of the weekly classes and never expires.
I hope you can join us sometime. It is a really good thing to be able to be at home, but not totally alone. We all need it. I think part of the magic is that we are doing it together, actually. We are all in this together. It makes a huge difference that you are there.
I hope you can be at home soon.
Peace on your head, you.