Wednesday, November 02, 2005


How can I breathe into stillness when there isn't any?

Last night my LLCY mentor group had a good chat about Tadasana (Mountain Pose), and teaching from that place of content, breath-filled stillness. It's odd sometimes to think that very often the two most 'difficult' poses in the practice are Tadasana and Savasana (Corpse), the two poses where we are asked to find an alert stillness and simply breathe without 'doing' anything.

This morning on the mat the noisy reality presented itself with... enthusiasm. There are things I don't consciously hear like the ever present electrical whir or the subtle klink in the heating pipes - things that if they were removed would create a deafening, silent void. Then there are the real offenders: the construction banging, sirens, and the loud Portuguese conversation that seems to be circling my front window. Can I stay with my breath and on my mat, even with all of that?

The truth: practicing without all that outer stuff might actually be harder. As a city dweller I don't often have the luxury of practicing without that stuff. I'm not really sure what it's like since it only happens on vacation or at a retreat. That setting almost seems less that real. As a result my breath serves as a tool to navigate the constant murmur of the city. All those sounds become part of the experience.

I can't breathe away the noise, at least not on the outside. I can gratefully breathe in the stuff on the outside and create some stillness on the inside. Maybe in the end I can breathe out some stillness.

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