Beyond Repetition

When I am feeling stuck in my mind and in the physical world I find it helpful to offer myself a pattern interruption by practicing doing things with my non-dominant side. Movement meditations like postural yoga and snowboarding are great for this.

With yoga, postures are typically practiced back and forth, stimulating and developing agility on both sides of the body, balancing out the dominance of either side. This can increase and reorganize the potential ways we habitually act and respond to circumstance. Instead of always repeating the pattern in one direction, we can move through it in the other direction too, adapting our prior experience to fit the specifics of the new situation.

It is beyond just being the opposite, as we are not fully symmetrical. In many ways the second side is like learning a separate yet related thing.

While snowboarding tends to be a one-sided activity, we can bring in this balancing, like a yoga practice, by switching back and forth which foot we have forward. At first the non-dominant side feels awkward, as we’’re doing something familiar but in a different way. Which potentially makes it feel even harder at moments then if we didn’t already know how to do it before, because we are expecting it to be the same.

It can take a bit of unhooking ourselves from trying to recreate the same experience on the second side, for although we already know how to do it on the dominant side, the second side has its own variables. When I let go of trying to make it the same, I can learn about what it actually is, and respond to that.

This can be practiced with any typically one sided activity, or any activity at all.

As we break our attachments to the familiar, creating a pattern interruption in the momentum of habitual repetition, we can learn to sense the nuances of each situation we encounter. Each moment informed yet not defined by our experiences of the past.

Formless Infinite in Finite Form

I have been experiencing that one of the functions of postural practice in the system of yoga is as counterbalance, anchoring into an embodied awareness of a relative sense of space and time to help orient and function in those realms while simultaneously opening into a connection with the formless infinite beyond these finite boundaries of form.

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The Subtleties of the Sunrise

How many times
Can I watch the moon set at sunrise
While driving this same stretch of highway
To teach the same yoga asana postures
To the same types of people
In the same rooms
And ride the same trails
On the same mountains
And sleep with the same man
In the same bed
In the same house
In the same town
Before it loses it’s novelty
And becomes rote?

These are the questions
I used to contemplate
As I hastily sped to work
At 6:30 in the morning
Praying I wouldn’t be late.

Sometimes
I noticed the subtleties of the sunrise.
And that the moon was never in the same place.

And neither was I.

Awakenings
Come slow and steady
Like the sunrise
Until sometimes
With a flash
Everything is illuminated
Revealing what you couldn’t see before
In crisp vibrant clarity.

Now I leave early
In wonder
Of where the light will first crest the horizon
In awe
Of the hue that ridges the mountaintops
And defines the boundary
Between earth
And sky.

It is never the same.

Nor are the asanas
Or the people I share them with.
Even the rooms have changed.
The consistency and texture of the snow is always variable
The landscape shifts with the blow of the wind.
I can taste the humidity
And smell the storm in the distance.
Sometimes we we skate on the lake
And sometimes
We swim.

The eccentricities of each encounter.
Even when it looks the same
The nuances distinct.
The novelty
The consistent everchanging
Subtleties
Never knowing
Until maybe
When I’m in it.
Every moment a transition
And always
Right now.
Noticing.
Being.
Always interesting.

I mostly sleep alone now
In my own house
Or my own car
Or on couches
Or in the bed of the forest
As I drive this same stretch of highway
It has never become boring
And it has never
Been
The same.

Hide and Seek

Incandescent orb shimmering
Melting snowcovered seascape of sky
Waves of lithe clouds swimming
Intermittently veil and revealing
Feminine contours of mountains
Modest confident majesty 

Enclosed inside my temperate auto
Slowly curving alongside the river
Silent for the wheels upon the road
I gaze soft focus through my windowpane
Entranced by the serene fluid stillness
Frozen, yet liquid, and vapor, and light
As sunlight escapes briefly
And illuminates the horizon
And then falls behind cover
And hides from me again