11.25.2011

Primary Friday: A Problem-Solving Practice

In the foreshadow of change, these quandaries and conundrums progenerate like rabbits as I turn my head to look the other way.  Characteristically, distraction appears in a most disorienting form at a time when clarity is most especially essential.  Uprooted from the solid earth of solitary life, the daily practice -- the in-the-moment-every-moment practice -- has been a special challenge.  Not only do I miss my sacred space, but I yearn for the simplicity of progress on the path in an environment self-designed almost exclusively to facilitate my own success.

In my cave, seated on my cushion or sweating on my mat, there is nothing to distract me from my task.  There is only quietness and space, the material manifestation of my earthly life nestled comfortably between the few things that I need and even fewer things I don't.  In my natural setting, like the postures, I deal with the problems one by one.  Typically, they come rolling in at a manageable pace, and I watch and breathe and watch and breathe and breathe until the answers just appear.  They are reliably revealed through ascription to simplicity and nothing more.

As a sojourner, simplicity is all the more difficult and all the more necessary.  The colorations of the mind cast my world in a seductive saturation until light and shadow, grade and shade, blend together in a garish landscape of needy neons and the oppressive almost-black of navy blues.  It is tough to see the trueness of the road on the horizon or feel the nature of the ground beneath my feet, and so I work to gather bits of precious pleasure just in case I need to make a nest and rest along the way.  But that's the fear, the choice, a fear of commitment equal to or greater than the natural fear of the unknown.

So now my mission is to tear myself away from the pleasure-center stimulation, to seal it up and feed the sacred root before it is strung out any further in search of nutrients and other lesser but supporting forms of life.  I need work.  I need burden.  I need responsibility.  I don't function well apart from that which grounds me.

And what's the answer?  Practice:  Primary, pranayama, meditation.  These are the tried and true methods for balancing the prana with the apana, the winds of the body as the sanctuary of the mind.  My body is my home and any attachments or associations to place and time and persons present are merely misperceptions.  I will quiet the body, make space in the mind, and invite solutions to the surface.

3 comments:

  1. I will be the one to comment to you, Friend-in-Practice...
    As usual, tremendous words that tell tremendous feeling, that feed tremendously to all who practice this defined and deliberate method.
    Thank you!

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  2. Thank you, ayKim. The writing has become a sort of counterpart to the practice. It's always interesting to see the connections unfold on the page (or screen, as the case may be...)

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  3. Ah, you're an artist - beautiful piece. Your early in-the-moment-every-moment line makes me anxious to get back to practice. I've been out for a couple weeks because of a silly toe injury. Keep the great material coming.

    Regards,
    Geoff
    www.geoffreyhale.com
    www.halecollege.com

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