Monday, July 6, 2009

Is It Time?

...some time ago, when I decided to start doing the yoga thing everyday, was really gung-ho...impatient...so really started pushin’ it...and, in a couple weeks got myself to a point where I pretty much had to avoid anything involving knees or lower back, or twists...which, as it turned out, didn’t leave much...

...the separation between past, present, and future is only an illusion, although a convincing one...
Albert Einstein

To find our way, we will need to pay more attention to this moment. It is the only time that we have in which to live, grow, feel, and change. We will need to become more aware of and take precautions against the incredible pull of the Scylla and Charybdis of past and future, and the dreamworld they offer us in place of our lives.
Jon Kabat-Zinn

Time is making fools of us again.
J. K. Rowling

...more recently went to this class in West Philly with this teacher named Dhyana...getting a bit frustrated, as I tend to do...after all this time spent workin’ on this yoga shit...almost hurting my neck trying to force a tripod headstand...and the teacher started telling this old story....this guy goes to see a Zen master and asks him how long it’ll take to reach enlightenment...the Zen master says thirty years...the guy says I can’t wait that long...listen, I’ll do anything...just tell me how I can get it now...and the Zen master says okay then, seventy years...

10 comments:

markstoneman said...

Indeed.

RB said...

I don't think "forcing" is a word you want in your yoga practice

Brooks Hall said...

Dr. Jay, Has the "Grand Inquisitor" (from an earlier post) been influencing your ACTIONS (not just your thoughts...)?I'm curious because it sounds like you think you "should" (even though "should shits") do poses in some way that your body has been injured by (repeatedly?).

It sounds like a good time to listen to your body. And also to try some ways of working that are less forceful. Then, listen to your body again! Is the response good? How did that go, etc.

Anyway, that's my two cents... For me, when I am listening to my stories about myself, it's never time for something new. The only time for something new is when I can let go of something old. And right now I really need to find the strength and fortitude to let go of some old crap (too?).

Lumen et Aperio said...

When I first started to practice, I did so with a vengeance. Literally. My doctor & PT knew of no one else who tore a rotator cuff from yoga. After a lower back injury due to my continued stubbornness, I stopped doing yoga and let yoga do me. ;)

"Take the pose seriously, and yourself lightly...Build your house on a rock, people, and emotional rock..." Baron Baptiste

the walking man said...

I suggest you go do the laying dog position in a CAT scan to make sure there are no ruptured or bulging discs.

YogaforCynics said...

Thanks for the wonderful comments, Mark, RB, Brooks, Lumen, and Walkingman. I think I may have been a bit too cryptic (again). My intended point here is precisely that forcing things isn't the way to go--that, in fact, doing so makes me like the guy in the story whose impatience does nothing but drag him further from his goal--but that it's relatively easy to know these things on a conscious level, and far more difficult to live them. Thus, when friends ask me if I'm "good at yoga" and seem to think it's a competitive sport, I tell them it's not really about that, though, in practice, I sometimes find myself pushing too hard trying to catch up to the person on the next mat over. And that's why it was great that the teacher told the Zen story just when she did, as it reminded me of this, and got me out of that "force it" mindset before I hurt myself...

Tonya said...

Quite appropriate artwork for your post...I love Salvador Dali! Have you ever seen any of the films he made? I know I'm off topic, but you reminded me how intriging surrealism really is.

WR said...

:)Thanks I needed this reminder

earthtoholly said...

Hey, drjay, we both had "time" posts, in a sense, though yours was constructive and mine was...uh, never mind.

I like the Kabat-Zinn quote. He's right on. That's exactly why I feel that I've neither lived, grown nor changed. I at least "feel" that much. Always recollecting the past, dreaming the future, but not doing a damn thing to change. Am not yet to the point of forcing anything, even. Argh.

Too much about me. Sorry!

Excellent post.

Melinda said...

That little story about the zen master really did make me LOL. It struck a chord with me, Jay, because I believe my *worst* quality these days is my impatience! I want it all--and I want it YESTERDAY (damnit!).

I'm sorry to hear you are having some pains and aches--I can commiserate because my back has been fussy lately as well--although in my case, I feel it is due to a lack of yoga (we were up in Maine and I didn't do any yoga although I got lots of other exercise--but Yoga is best for my back, I've found).

Anyway--thanks for the smiles.

Melinda