Driving through the streets of Cochi, India, in the winter of 2006, I saw two guys, mid-twenties, rather masculine in their appearance, on a leisurely stroll. They were conversing, laughing, have a grand old time. But something was different. These two guys were holding hands.
The guide proceeded to tell me that it’s very normal for men to hold hands in India, and it’s weird that in America, men do not hold hands. That comment stuck with me for many years.
The other day I was at the Exhale yoga studio after my yoga class. A male student who frequents my class was perusing the books in the boutique. He’s a really nice guy and I figured: he always comes to my class, maybe he’d like to hold hands while looking at the books. After all, it is a yoga studio and yoga is from India, and it is OK for men to hold hands in India.
A few moments later, I saw another friend from the yoga studio getting a tea in the lobby. I stopped putting on my shoes and thought to myself: what better time to hold hands then while getting a refreshing tea.
As I left the Exhale yoga studio, I saw a gentleman sitting at a patio table. I introduced myself and figured: hey, this looks like a kind soul, I think I’ll sit down and chat, and maybe hold hands.
And finally, later that night, I was watching the Lakers game with a buddy. Ever so excited, we high-fived and continued watching the game. I thought to myself: this is so wonderful, two friends livin’ the moment, rooting on our favorite team…I think I’ll try to hold his hand.
I asked my friend to covertly film all four attempts at holding hands. Please take a moment to watch the video.
You might have read the book “My Stroke of Insight” by Jill Bolte Taylor, who had a stroke and lost access to much of her left brain. In it, she describes losing the ability to rationalize, analyze, project into the future and dwell on the past.
While a stroke might sound horrible, the author describes a totally refreshed view on life characterized by a pure state of being.
Taylor points out that she no longer perceives herself as a single, solid entity with boundaries. Taylor now understands at the most elementary level that she is fluid, and that the right brain relishes its attachment to the eternal flow. This “eternal flow” is a vital nutrient, without which the spirit starves and withers.
As it stands now, we think too much and our culture of stimulation makes it impossible to stop. Amidst the mind’s noise, we are losing touch with our emotions, with our intuition, with the flow that moves through everyone and everything.
When deciding to hold another’s hand is based on their sex, one is trapped in a world of single, solid entities, a world of illusion. However, when one perceives the eternal flow, he sees beyond boundaries.
So…to all men out there who wish to take the test and see if they truly feel the eternal flow, go up to another man (preferably a drunk at an NFL football game), and grab their hand. The drunk man might punch you, or pour beer on you, or possibly kick you in the balls. But know that deep down, their spirit thanks you. At the level of spirit, we are all one.
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