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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Set an intention

Hiking in LA with Chrys
Takes mindfulness






After a brief conversation with a lovely student this morning, I realized two things about my teaching: 1. everyone is watching your every move as a teacher, whether they think they are or not and evaluating what you say and do. (Even though the practice of yoga emphasizes non-jugdement and non-attachment. We're human. Within the power of the spoken word, we habitually place a symbolic label on everything.) For example, if I say, imagine the breath as water flowing in and out. You might think of a river, while others might think of a pitcher of water pouring into and out of a glass. Or, if I said, allow your thoughts to flow into that river and drift away, you might picture actual words in the river instead of logs floating. Or, perhaps in your mind the thought itself swirling along the water. We think in symbols and then we label those images based on our past experiences.  2. I can choose to be concerned about what someone else thinks or instead release it. 


I've never been overly concerned about labels given to me (I've heard everything from mean instructor... to soothing voice). I do however, feel the sting when someone I greatly admire, like my father or aunt, puts a typecast on me. 


Everyone's invited to get angry (or ________ fill in the blank). You can choose not to accept the invitation. 


My theme for class this morning was to set an intention and follow it. All day. Just one sentence. Keep it brief. Say it out loud. And, now, go do it. 


My aim for today is to remain unaffected by circumstance. Whatever the day brings, remain open to the possibility of the day rather than the discord of a situation. It is a choice. 


“Knowing where we are, moving slowly, and determining our action carefully, we are stabilizing our strategy for bringing meaning to our life.” – Sakyong Mipham

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