On a recent Southwest flight to Milwaukee from Denver I finish my work, put my laptop away, and open Rolf Gates’ Meditations from the Mat for the umpteenth time. My copy would be dog-eared except that’s it’s on my phone.
I do what I always do - flip to a random page and start reading.
The following passage jumps out at me: “Our body is the home of our spirit. It is the means by which we enact our beliefs. Therefore, the maintenance of the body is a spiritual duty, an act of love not only toward ourselves but toward all . . . As we care gently and lovingly for ourselves, we are deconstructing the blocks to love in our lives and freeing ourselves from the prison of outworn patterns of thought and action. And we need to start somewhere. Yoga says we should start where we are, on the physical plane, with our bodies and the acts of our bodies.”
These are troubling times for mindful people. As I reflect on the world around me today, and on the fear and lack of empathy demonstrated by so many people - not just strangers but sometimes by people that I know (or thought I knew) - the more clear I become that I cannot count on others (including or especially my government) to do the right thing. So in the words of William H. Johnsen, “If it is to be, it is up to me.”
So I will come to my mat and, as Rolf writes, work to deconstruct the blocks tolove in my life and free myself from the prison of outworn patterns of thought and action.
And by doing so I will strengthen my spirit.
I believe that love is the one thing that each and every one of us is called on to share. And you cannot have love without empathy. I believe that life is a gift. And that it is not to be squandered in selfish pursuits. I believe that I am my brothers’ keeper.
And I believe absolutely that if enough mindful people can free themselves and find similar new patterns of thought and action it will bring about a new age of shared prosperity and social justice. And I believe strongly that the loving God (whatever form he or she takes, depending on your personal beliefs) intends this for us.
“We are the people that we have been waiting for.” ~Origin Unknown
“And now the practice of yoga.” The Yoga Sutras Chapter 1, Verse 1.