16 July, 2012

Intention without expectation

Today was Hatha with Patrick.

After yesterday's debacle on the mat, which I subsequently found out was (at least in part) due to the 108 degree temperatures in the room during the class, I felt it was absolutely imperative that I jump right back in there with Patrick again, rather than shy away from the challenge.

There had been much pondering about whether or not the end of the yoga challenge should bring with it a day (or multiple days) of rest. In the end, I decided that I wanted to get right back in there and try again, after a tough class. There's also this memory, from running track in high school, of running through the finish line, rather than slowing down as you approach it. I felt, in some way, like stopping on July 15th was a little bit too much like calling this entire journey a complete service of "The Challenge." In fact, this is just a practice that is ongoing, never-ending really, and today is just one more day in that life of practice.

So here I was, ready for better or worse.

In spite of having endured many consecutive days of tired, weary, sometimes painful sensations, today was like another rebirth. I talked about it after class with Patrick. Why is it that one can feel completely rock bottom, and then suddenly spring back into energetic form only a day later. I didn't get particularly good sleep. I didn't take a day off. I did nothing in particular that should have made me feel better. But I did. One could attribute it to all sorts of supernatural forces, or to energy inside our bodies that we don't fully understand. But I think the more likely explanation is that it was in my mind, in my intention. I came to class today, not dreading the experience, but fully intending on meeting it head on. I was going to have a good class. It was not a question of "I hope," but a simple fact that "I must, and I will." And simple as that, I did.

Our body will do what our mind tells it to do. But there are a lot of days where I can't seem to will my mind to tell my body what it ought to hear. For several days, I came to class with negative expectations... Odessa was going to be grueling... Hatha/Yin was going to be tedious... showing up with an intention to suffer. And, sure enough, suffer I did.

Others in class today said that it was hot. To me it felt less hot than previous days. Where is reality? What is truth? Is perception comprised primarily by experience, or by expectation? I have my suspicions.

Therefore, I think the greatest challenge I have for myself, in these coming days, weeks, years, lifetimes is to show up with intention and without expectation.

I think that might be what this is all about.

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