Friday, January 20, 2006

Friday, Jan. 20: Feeling Bad, 7, Wake Up

Wake up. This very moment is a precious moment which will never come again. Feeling bad is a wake up call, telling us, if we would only listen: you are alive. You are out of rhythm with your own life, out of touch with the potency of awareness in this very moment.

In this moment I can choose to be happy. I can be interested in feeling bad. I can notice my thumbs and breathing. I can notice what I am seeing. I can notice my posture. This is the miracle of now: it is always available: no waiting required. No admission fee, you can always come home to now, no money required, no dress code, no resume required, no membership dues. Come one, come all, the present is always here, waiting for us to slow down and remember.

Life is set up so that everyone is in a complicity of sleep, not the sleep of the night time, but the sleep of sitting and not being aware of feet, toes, spine, posture, breathing,. Which is to say, not being aware of ourselves. The sleep of getting up from our sitting and not knowing how we did that.

The sleep of walking across the room and opening a door, and not knowing either how we did that, or even being aware that we are doing that. And the hugest sleep of all: when we open our mouths and begin to talk, to say those very important things about what we did yesterday or are going to do later, or those very important insights into what is wrong with so and so, or to say, how are you, what a nice day, how are you doing. All asleep. Sleep walking, sleep talking, and the agreement is not to say anything about this.

Is there a way out?

Yes. Right now see and seize the chance to be present. Try something in a non-habitual way. As I write this first time through by hand, I hold the pen between thumb and ring finger. This is not the usual way. I have to be more aware, have to write slower, can’t just rush through. As you sit, sway a little right, a little left, a little forward, a little back. Try something slightly different. As you breathe, notice where the breathing takes place. Can you add on breathing in more of you? When you look at these words, can you see the shapes between the letters? Can you feel the breath coming in and out as you read, and the posture and bones that hold you up in gravity as you read and see the shapes and follow the breathing?

Awareness in, awareness out: this is a miraculous ability we have. A gift. The present of the present.

I went to a yoga class yesterday that was all about getting strong. All about a masochist trap of pushing and straining to be something we aren’t. Any awareness in the present came from the pain of trying, trying with effort. If you wouldn’t mind learning without strain and effort, you might love to join a Feldenkrais® class. Libby has them at Parkpoint. I have them various places around town.

But the biggest challenge is after moving with awareness, because moving ourselves is the easiest way to wake to the moment. The challenge is after the lesson, when we begin to talk about how nice it was, or the important things we are about to go do. Can we open our mouths and stay awake? This is almost heresy to bring this up. The complicity is to pretend we are awake just because we are up and moving around and yapping.

But is it true?


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