Friday, August 6, 2010

Mental Gymnastics

After a very full week, I keep thinking of that far side comic where the student raises his hand and asks his teacher, "Mr. Osborne, May I be excused? My brain is full."

It's been a very mentally, emotionally challenging and busy my practice focus for this morning was breath. I set my attention on the breath and set my intention to watch the thoughts as they went by with minimal intervening.

What I noticed:

No wonder I'm so tired! By the time I'd finished the primary series I'd mentally relived most of my week and rehearsed everything I was set to do later in the if living the week once wasn't enough, my mind decided it needed to go back and do it over again.

My mind is very inclined to rewrite every decision and situation so that I'm in the right and feel validated....ick.

My mind was very busy mentally planning, organizing and manipulating all potential activities for the day, the next day, the day after that.

Mentally, I spent lots of time in the past and in the future...but in this moment?, not so much.

My mind paused twice for a few poses each time and I had a brief glimpse of mental quiet. One pause towards the end of standing poses into dandasana and a second pause at kurmasana and supta kurmasana. This second pause especially interests me as this was the pose that I struggled with for years in primary practice. It still amazes me that after all the years of intense uncomfortable work in this pose, it now gives a the feeling of soothing my nervous system and quieting the mind like nothing else.

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