On Watching Pots…
Do things go better when you put your attention elsewhere? That’s what I learned growing up. Water boils faster when you don’t look at the pot, things are more visible in the dark if you look off to the side; if you feel upset, get busy – you’ll feel better, and so on.
But now yoga is teaching me something else.
This all came together for me over the weekend reading Tihk Nhat Hahn’s, Anger. He says when you feel angry, sit still and absorb it. Do to anger, in other words, what kumbhaka does to breath or brahmacharya does to sexual energy. Sit on it. Watch it cook.
When I suspend breathing with full lungs in kumbhaka, I feel my internal energy wake up. It’s like the sun rising, delicious and vitalizing to absorb. Perhaps the same is true for a bramacharyi.
Anger may stir up internal energies, but they feel dangerous. For me they’re like the energy of a malevolent electromagnet. When they’re switched on, a powerful attraction slams me toward hurtful actions. Why would I want to sit still and watch that?
The mind operates in mysterious ways – at least mine does. When I simply watch the anger, it really does dissipate. It’s a wild ride, the electromagnet pulling me toward nasty behaviors. But with effort and intention that pull can be resisted. Then, growth seems to happen. Something opens up inside; my soul has been stretched.
This is a reason to welcome anger when it comes along, rather than trying to avoid or repress it. It could be an opportunity to grow. It’s a provocative thought, an interesting recipe. I’ll admit that I haven’t used it very often, but I plan to. And some day hope to master it – my soul swelling like a soufflé every time the heat’s on.
hot on elephant
The story behind the Elephant-headed God. 428 shares Join: Elephant’s Winter 2017 Academy. 12 shares September’s Black Moon: The Rare, Powerful, Feminine Goddess Lilith. 44,836 shares Will & Grace are Back after 10 years & it’s the Funniest 10 minutes of Election Commentary Ever. 15,817 shares October Energy Forecast: Prepare for Limitless, Unconditional Love. 7,493 shares The Fourth Kind of Love. 2,552 shares How Open-Hearted Men can Show Up for Strong, Independent Women. 3,445 shares What Teens need from their Parents. (Hint: It’s not Grounding & Punishment.) 2,013 shares I am Who I am Thanks to You—The 5 Most Important People we Meet in Life. 2,062 shares “I’d look her right in that fat, ugly face of hers.” 1,381 share