100 Days of Kindness

May 3, 2017

 

A form of resistance I had not previously considered

 

It is easy as a teacher to feel fraudulent in some way or another, especially when you are trying to put aside masks, be intentional in what you practice vs. what you share, and try to uncover the truest versions of your One Self. And that is the thing-there are no versions to the Self. It is one, and cannot be divided to have versions exist. The Atman, as it is called through Samkya, the philosophy of Yoga, is part of Purusha, pure consciousness. It is part of the Universal consciousness in the way that we are made up of the same stuff that makes up the entire cosmos and the way that a glass of water taken from the ocean is the ocean itself.  It is the witness, the experiencer, the allower, but not the doer. While the doer, has the potential for duality or multiplicity, the Self does not. It is One. And, so, to a person who has rested in the Self for even a moment, a feeling of fraudulence is common. I think this is because the koshas that veil the Self, are most often where we dwell, and these layers, even as they go toward the Self and become subtler, are not the Self and therefore favor doing, rather than being-and doing again, exercises duality and multiplicity. And again, the Self is only One, undivided.

 

And so, having a certain understanding of the ways that I naturally could feel fraudulent, and having no desire to create a neurosis directly from that understanding, I am focusing on the areas that need direct healing. The shadows within me that have come from addiction, which I am recognizing as a need unmet and masked, have been calling to me at increased volumes lately and I am thankful that I am finally able to co-create my response to them.  Up until now, my approach has been a see saw between allowing and managing harmful tendencies( and shame that accompanies them) and resisting addictive behaviors for short periods (and feeling stress and tension grow).  Now, I am not talking heroin here, but even as I write from the newest heroin capital of the world, most of us are dealing with addictions that will kill us in other ways….or more appropriately, kill other sheaths of our being.  If addiction is a word that you do not embrace with as much raw abandon as I do, you can look toward the afflictions(Klesas) in Yoga philosophy to understand the 2 sided coin that is Attachment/Aversion(Raga + Dvesa). 

 

This understanding has brought me to the practice I am currently engaging with-100 days of kindness as a way to subvert the attachment and aversion cycle by focusing on self care….for 100 days to start. The marigold seed packets say that flowers in my garden will bloom in 60-70 days. I am giving myself a little more time than that. Each day, for the last 3 weeks, I have focused on a kindness to my body-Yoga classes, walks, a sauna, a massage, a nap, a run, a dance class. And I feel pretty great. And the habits that I have struggled with for some time are not dominating the air time in my head-not even close.  I sense this is because I am not focusing on resisting a behavior or thought, but creating a bigger container where thoughts can arise slowly and unthreateningly, while the focus is on love toward my body, in small and big ways. 100 days is allowing me to work on myself without being distracted by an end because I can’t easily see the end. I like to think of this as a co-creating process because I know that this is bringing me closer to that contented witness and allower within-and I know that Self, like a drop in the ocean, is Divine.

 

 

 

 

 

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THE BALANCE OF EFFORT AND RELAXATION LEADS TO A TRANQUIL MIND - PATANJALI