The Tao that can be spoken is not the eternal Tao
The name that can be named is not the eternal name
The nameless is the origin of Heaven and Earth
The named is the mother of myriad things
Thus, constantly without desire, one observes its essence
Constantly with desire, one observes its manifestations
These two emerge together but differ in name
The unity is said to be the mystery
-The above quote is from www.Taoism.net and Tao Te Ching : Annotated & Explained, published by SkyLight Paths in 2006.
Our “real” lives often consist of ongoing, frenetic and sometimes overwhelming times of activity interspersed with transition zones until the next activity. A great question to ask ourselves as we attempt to cope is to what purpose is that transition time used. It is no secret our society, as a rule has little use for “idleness”, so often we find ourselves leaving the “precious present” and ruminate about the past or endlessly rehearing or planning the future.
The wisdom of sages such as Lao Tze informs us that in the time between our “doings” another, more mysterious aspect of our lives and existence can be known. Yoga, Yoga therapy and other meditative healing practices invite us to slow down and look inside for access to this “mystery”. To those who take time to look within toward the direct experience of this inner truth, a very real connection to the source of healing and existence itself is often felt. In Yoga there is a sense that living a truly balanced life involves giving equal respect to both “being and doing” aspect of life in ways that address stress and alienation at their root cause. We are benefited immeasurably and inexplicably when, to paraphrase Lao Tze’s, we take the time to access the source within, entering a the present moment to “strip oneself of passions” and reach from the “Mystery into the Deeper Mystery” and moving through “the Gate to the Secret of All Life”.
Within each Yoga or practice approached mindfully, we allow the activity of our poses and movement flow to be interspersed with transition zones of relaxation, mediation and absorption in which the work we have done is claimed by our body and mind. We have “fed” our selves healing experiences and in these pauses we integrate the healing potential inherent in these practices.
When we carry this principle off the Yoga mat into our lives we can intuit that within the “pauses” of life, a creative aspect operates to allow us to receive the feedback the self offers to bring us into balance. In those moments when simply “being” is enough, we begin to relax and hone the capacity to receive intuitive understandings and heretofore unseen possibilities that exist in even the most stressful and dire life situations. Common experiences reported by meditator and Yoga practitioners include deep physical rest and relaxation, changing mental and emotional perspectives and the more subtle, almost ineffably joyous moments of feeling connected to all of life. There are therefore, practical benefits and higher aims to meditative experience as we skillfully take that “pause that refreshes”. We heal in ways obvious and unseen, mundane and profound.