“Easy the way it’s supposed to be…” David Crosby
Do not fight the dark.
Just turn on the light.
Let go. And breathe into the goodness that you are.
It’s a miracle! There are special moments in Yoga classes as well in individual therapy work that this exclamation can be heard uttered with mixtures of relief, surprise and a blend of so many other emotions. Before I go further of course I need to affirm that in one sense there are no miracles, at least not in the sense to which the student may be referring. Still the changes that can happen within an amazingly short period of time when we give ourselves what we are need can seem miraculous for those who have been struggling with an issue or a dilemma for any length of time.
So what is this miracle? In most cases I’ve come to find that clients and students who come me are not in need of the overhaul they believe they need to get rid of their problem. Quite often they are up against is a wall of sorts, struggling in a path or a pattern of living that no longer serves them. In short they are stuck! What is considered a initially miracle may instead more properly to be seen as a new beginning.
I’ve come to understand the sense of the miraculous experienced in the process of change to be a reflection of surprise in the face of immediate or unexpected relief from seemingly intractable dilemmas, or at least and awareness that such relief can be possible. These moment are important because they offer the promise of greater ease that may come in steering a new course in the area of life struggle. So a therapeutic Yoga and meditation intervention is a way toward consistently applying miracle inducing experience and practice to help one direct a course away from difficulty and toward new patterns and helpful habits. Whether the issues are physical pain, disquieting or stressful emotions or deeper forms of more existential anxieties new perspective or patterns encapsulated in an exercise regimen, breath practice or mediation technique can be a start in a new direction. This new pattern can lead one back to a life that promises the joy that comes when the path toward growth is fee once more.
Sages warn us that these miraculous moments are to be remembered and forgotten all at once. Remembered for the inspiration and healing inherent within them and forgotten so they don’t become their own problem by becoming an impediment to continued progress.
It can be a challenge to keep the process of change as simple as finding and following a more helpful course once it is revealed. One reason is that it is not always easy to allow easy in our lives. It is the mind and ego’s nature to embrace struggle and resist change. Indeed struggle and resistance is in a sense the outline of our Yoga and Meditation practices. The healthy self uses this as a measure of our distress and allows us to steer safely and surely toward more helpful and healthy ways of being.
By the time our difficulties have become more intractable many of us are addicted to struggle and stuck in resistance to the very changes that will bring greater happiness and peace. We may have come to define ourselves only by what we accomplish in the face of challenge and difficulty to the point where we come to mistrust or fear something “easy”; that doesn’t press hard against our limits. This addiction to our distress can be surprisingly intractable to the point of being self–destructive. If the life pattern in which we are ensconced is strong we can find the necessary changes to self or circumstances more of a threat than salivation. To aid us we can seek teachers and therapists for guidance and direction and fellow “pilgrims on the path” for community and support. However a midst challenges and uncertainty inherent in changing anything, whether we accept our own responsibility for our situation and if and how the path of healing walk is always our choice.
I believe that for many of us involved in this great work on ourselves new values must be cultivated that support new discovery and the process of change. It is magical thinking to believe that with struggle and negative attitude about ourselves and our nature as the center of our practice we can expect healing or enjoy it in those moments when it arises the miracles of wholeness and peace is realized. I have come to believe more and more that to heal from dis-ease we must learn to practice ease and do so with increasing ease. With this core value informing our practice the miraculous can be common and the and peace Yogis believe is our true nature can become us.