Being in this world is an extremely sensual experience. As Byron so elegantly put it “there is a rapture in the pathless woods”. There is also a rapture in the pleasures of the body, its mysterious cravings, desires-our very physical emotions of love, anger, passion, sorrow and joy. It is a wonderful blessing to be alive in a healthy body with a clear mind and vibrating spirit within the realm of sight, sound, taste and touch.
When I was young the world didn’t move quite so fast. Life contained no cell phones, computers, ipods or gameboys- only a few households had color televisions. There were many minutes hours and days when I was bored to pieces tagging alongside my mother or father as they carried out their adult protocols. It was acceptable “not to be entertained every minute of the day.” It was acceptable and expected to be idle, quiet and patient when necessary. In hindsight I now see it as a discipline in learning “how to be where you are”, a teaching many children miss these days.
From a childhood of long summers I’ve grown into an adult alongside a world burgeoning with small hand devices designed to carry the whole virtual world in our pocket. We never really have to be where we are. When things get boring-there is always your cellphone/ipod/internet/../…/…/. To sit one moment in idle stillness is an anomaly these days. It is possible to loose ourselves this way and become overwhelmed, unaware of our surroundings and numb to the wonderful bodies we inhabit.
Yoga philosophy says that the senses, if not controlled, can be like wild horses blinding our intuitive ability to see with clarity. Over the last few weeks, I have not been busier, just quieter, calming my senses with longer periods of meditation, eating simple meals and practicing a self-designed form of semi-silence in certain situations. Reading the article, The Yoga of Desire, in the recent issue of Yoga Plus, I realize that I have been practicing a mild form of Brahmacharya. Bramacharya is a yogic practice that helps one moderate and redirect the senses inward.
It is even more important now in a world that moves so fast to take a respite even from things that are pleasureable, so we can once again get a strong foothold on the pleasure and rapture that lies within. Executing a balancing yoga pose develops muscles we never knew we had and then some. The center point always feels divine and effortless, infusing us with power. Walking on the path in balance is no different—– May you all find your center point. May you all walk in beauty.