Balance / by vanessa

A few weekends ago I took a workshop from David Swenson on handstands and what he calls the "Physics of Flight". Aside from it being four hours of just pure fun -- I learned so many new yoga tricks! -- he imparted some sage words on the nature of balance, fear, and well, life. And though I forget the details of his wisdom, his demonstration on balance has stayed w/ me. He asked us to come to tadasana and close our eyes. We obliged and as we stood there wobbling, our body naturally swaying to and fro its center, he reminded us that *this* is balance. Opening our eyes he explained that balance is not rigid nor completely without movement, instead it is this delicate search for the center. His point was that just as when we were babies we had to find this balance using our feet, so to it is as adults that we can find it with our hands. Makes sense, this aphorism's physical validity, I am stricken by its metaphorical quality as representative of the yogic path.

I've noticed that I've come to expect "enlightened" to mean this state absent from struggle, suspended judgment, and general ease of life. As months walking this journey pass, this expectation seems validated by the fact that I have indeed become less reactive and more at ease. More content. Thus, if I keep travelling down this road I'm bound to reach nirvana, right?

Maybe not. I don't know that I will ever reach samadhi, and ironically, expecting to is keeping me from it. In life, sometimes I teeter from contentment to pain, acceptance to fear. Of course it's not the contentment and acceptance that cause me concern. Rather it's the onset of pain and fear from which the doubt and questioning are borne. I mistakenly think that being on the right path means the absence of fear or the elimination of anger. This last weekend Baron said something to the effect that it's not about seeing the mountains and thinking "this is all there is" nor is it about being in a valley and thinking, "this is it" but rather seeing the mountains for mountains and valleys for valleys. And so maybe life too is about finding the center between struggle and ease. Maybe the path isn't about rigidly sustaining happiness and divine understanding. Maybe it's kinda like being okay w/ wobbling side to side in tadasana until I figure out where equanimity is.
Ruth, my amazing reiki guide who deftly calls me on my crap w/ such tenderness and truth, noted last night the importance of keeping energy moving forward and how easy and almost natural it can feel to halt energy. By talking about people, living in the what-ifs or I-should-have-done-x's, by doubting yourself, these things stop the flow of energy. So this morning I made a conscious practice to "keep the energy moving forward" and not only was I rewarded but it gave a lightness and clarity to my day.
Interpol is coming back this month. Yea! V. exciting! SXSW is rounding the corner -- even more exciting (Palaxy Tracks is coming back)! Scott is considering Coachella this year and I'm on the fence about going b/c the lineup rocks. But I gots ta say, ACL is way too crowded for me, and if that's any indication of how Coachella is, I may have to settle w/ the cd's.