Soul DanceMay 22, 2007
Calming the mind – personifying truth, goodness and beauty
Endless chattering, continuous noise, nonstop formulations of visualizations and variations of every idea that the mind can conjure up. This is our reality, day in and day out. The mind creates plays and scenarios of every possible theme. We find ourselves playing the parts of all the characters in this exercise of the mind. First we see our thoughts in our mind’s eye, and then actually bring these creations into our reality, creating our reality. This is our mind’s reaction to every situation. The mind rules our kingdom.
Year by year the mind grows stronger. Its formula for success and its ultimate exercise is the development of itself. Sets of endless repetitions with endless topics solidify its strength. So goes the saying, “You live in your imagination, creating your own destiny.”
At first, before we get on the road, we felt a slight yearning for some connection. That thread, disguised as ordinary thought (or maybe enveloped in that tiny space between thoughts) leads us to explore the possibility of our own spiritual nature. Often, but not always, it draws us to the concept of yoga. I was not so fortunate. My ego’s quest to fulfill itself led me to martial arts. After ten years of practice, the yearning returned and the T’ai Chi summoned me. Here I spent fifteen years, starting to evolve.
Finally yoga found me. I succumbed to its magnetism, and the realization of my destiny started to unfold before me with the initial aim of calming the fluctuations of the mind. Visualize a still pond, throw a rock in, and see the ripples form. Now throw a coin into the pond, and watch it sink to the bottom. Is that object at the bottom really a coin? IT does not look like one anymore. Through the ripples it looks like a small fish, and our mind sees the quarter as a fish. Our mission is to rediscover the quarter; to experience that which is our true nature.
We start our voyage with our bodies, working with the breath in order to begin the calming of the mind. Long, slow, full breaths, coupled with graceful, slow postures form our foundation. As the breath and the body merge together, the mind begins to relax. Occupy the mind with the postures; relax the body into them using only enough strength to hold the posture correctly. Concentrate on the internal flow of the breath. Watch it on the inhales, find out where it goes on the exhales. Endless postures and endless breath become one as the soul starts to dance.
Years of practice, years of exploration, searching inside. The mind calms down ever so slowly. Thoughts too fast to previously comprehend now gradually reach the psyche, like viewing a film of unbelievable scenes. I constantly questioned, “Did I really think that?” As the ripples slowly subside, most thoughts are clearly revealed. The essence of these thoughts mirrors the dualistic reality of the mind. Catch the thoughts before it manifests in voice or deed. Play it out accordingly, realizing the power of thoughts. Keep going, and the mind further calms.
The soul starts to express itself as loving thoughts become fully revealed. Thoughts long ago repressed now shine forward for examination. The calmer the mind, the purer the thought. The door swings open, and the soul dances, personifying truth, goodness, and beauty.