Movement vs. Meditation


OK I need to get this out on the table: I'm in one of those melancholy, uninspired moods that I am blaming on there not being enough snow in SW Montana (in damn fact, it's more like spring than winter. It's not right). Or, as careful as I've been to manage and balance my energy this holiday season, it may be the inevitable post-Christmas mood swing, or maybe the deer-in-the-headlights feeling as a new year is upon us. All in all, bad timing since normally I savor the new year and the reflection it invites.

I've been busying myself with activities that don't usually generate much reflection: errands, Christmas clean-up, laundry. I've pushed through some intense workouts at the gym to blow off steam. I guess I've been avoiding thoughtful reflection, dodging the new year's bullet as best I could. I've protected myself from it with movement. That's usually how I cope with any negative emotion: movement, action, productivity.

Then a voice overrode my circuits with this command: SIT STILL, for godssake. Ironically, I spend a lot of time advising people to savor stillness, yet I myself flee in the opposite direction when stillness is what I need most. So today, I sat my butt down and stopped moving, and noticed my mind's reaction: WTF? HOW CAN YOU STOP MOVING WHEN I NEED THAT MOST?? Exactly. The good ol' monkey mind, it will never let you down. I've realized that movement can sometimes fuel its fire. So I stopped. Moving. After the requisite period of fidgeting, that is (I figured that wasn't too much to ask for). My index fingers found my thumbs, in jnana mudra. Jnana mudra symbolizes uniting the individual self (index finger) with the universe (thumb). I was needing to get outside the self, and more connected to the rest of the universe, so this seemed appropriate. Cue Yoga Sutra 1.2: Yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations of the mind. Oh yeahhhhhh. Silence. Stillness. Sweet.

I'm not about to tell you that meditation is easy, because speaking from my own personal experience, it's been anything but. However, just as your body craves asana, your mind craves meditation, and it lets you know when you're overdue. Today was one of those days.

New Year's Resolution #1: meditate more. My 2011 reflections to come. Happy 2012.

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