Saturday, July 05, 2008

the 4th part

A couple weeks ago, my yoga posse and I celebrated the summer solstice by hitting up the yoga party in Times Square, playing our part in filling up the nexus of this materialistic city with Some Soul.  We did Sun Salutations in front of the Jumbotron, like little balls dropping into a new summer.  We filled 42nd Street with Peaceful Warriors, the way we should everyday, not bowing down to those billboards and Nasdaq tickers, but teaching them a thing or two.

Yoga is always teaching me a thing or two.  Or four.  Here's part of something I wrote recently.


The 4th Part

They say OM is made of four parts, A, Au, M, and the silence afterwards.  The fourth part is a full silence, containing the vibrations of all that came before and, if you get really quiet and subtle, hints of what is to come.

I've been thinking about this fourth part, the part we usually skip over or take for empty.  In Nada Yoga, the yoga of sound, the 4th part is the actual space after the sound, which is supposed to connect most to the heart chakra.  I feel in the physical practice of yoga, tadasana/mountain pose is kind of like the 4th part.  Its the resting place a  lot of us take for granted, or skip over to get to the next pose.  Its the space between the pose/movement that came before it, and what is to come, and I think we often use that space to think about the past or future instead of really staying present there, and feeling the reverberations of the movements around it.  In yoga class recently, I tried to really inhabit the space of tadasana, fixing my shirt or hair, no thinking about what comes next, but really landing for a moment and feeling what was there.

But what about the 4th part in the rest of life, that landing pad between two things, that moment that a lot of us take for blank or hollow, that is in reality full of the subtle reverberations of what came before and what is to come?  A lot of us rush through that 4th part, too, just like we rush through the 4th part of the sound of OM or tadasana.  Or we are unconscious to it.  But what if we could rest in that space, and feel and learn from it?  Instead of trying to fill or transform it, what if we could take it for what it is?

Sitting practice is a lot like the 4th part to me.  Since I identify so strongly as a writer, and someone of movement, to stop both the flow of words and body is counterintuitive and powerful.  I normally attach myself to words (or they attach themselves to me) to let them label them "thinking" and not grab a pencil to jot them down....allows the vibrations under the words to emerge.    Afterall, we're not writers to look at squiggles on a page, we're writers to get to the vibrations/meanings words represent.

On that note, sending you all the vibrations under the printed words on this screen.