Tuesday, November 23, 2010

BOTH THE GOAL AND THE WAY TO THE GOAL

"The conditions right now are the conditions we need for work..."

Yes, it is late again. However, I am not quite as sleepy and I did a little more research and thinking today.

"...It is not a matter a waiting until conditions are better, when the situation is calmer or when we have more time, or more information. Now, in the the midst of our daily life, engaged in our professions and households, we can and should undertake the practice of yoga. If not now when?..."


Hmm, heard that before, have you?

"...The word 'yoga' is derived from the root 'yuj' meaning 'to unite.' This word is a cognate of the English word "yoke." It speaks of an integration of all aspects within a human being as well as of the connection with subtler levels of reality. Any spiritual path towards this integration may be called a yoga. Thus, yoga is both the goal and the way to the goal."
Ravi Ravindra, The Wisdom of Patanjali's Yoga Sutras


I haven't made it very far through the book, but I am keeping on the path, the writing part of it, at least.

There are days when it is great. I'm in the writing groove, or the thinking about writing groove and almost everything feeds that. Other days, I just don't feel it. But these days, I am sitting down for a bit with whatever I have or haven't.

"Violinists practicing scales and dancers repeating the same movements over decades are not simply warming up or mechanically training their muscles. They are learning how to attend unswervingly, moment by moment, to themselves and to their art; learning to come into steady presence, free from the distractions of interest or boredom."
Jane Hirschfield, Poetry and the Mind of Concentration, from Nine Gates


... attend unswervingly... how difficult that seems.

2 comments:

  1. "... attend unswervingly... how difficult that seems."

    I was going to say how unite and yoke are so different conceptually; how the latter has a master, slave relationship and is less "enlightened."

    But then I saw your anti-koan and realized that yoke is exactly what one must do to attend unswervingly. Attention must be bound to the will. It is hard but not hard... practice. I think that is why body yoga should be done in parallel to the word yoga. Practice attention without dealing with 'the word' and its attendant challenges, at least through sitting meditation in order to quiet the mind.

    Yin (quiet sitting, breath, return) and Yang (thinking and writing, action), Yin (the world of thought) and Yang (the world of being) will unite and there is the path.

    "attend unswervingly... ice-cream subway car."
    FTFY

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