yoga is a way of life.. For inner peace and good health, practice yoga

yoga is a way of life.. For inner peace and good health, practice yoga

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Going With The Flow

A yoga teacher once shared with my class a Zen koan that I was reminded of yesterday while out walking in the woods with my husband Serafino. We hiked on a trail that follows a pretty river, a stream really. The river had natural dams forming placid ponds and small areas of gentle rapids with the soothing bubbling sound that immediately puts you in a relaxation. A koan is a story illustrating a concept that is accessible through intuition instead of intellect.

I sat on the bank of this stream yesterday and watched the water flowing around a large smooth stone. In the koan, we are the stone which is solid, immovable, strong and unending, allowing the water to flow past us, allowing it to go by without attachment or hindrance. We are also the flowing water which is light, fluid, effortless, and when encountering the stone, we simply continue on our way, flowing past and around the stone, unaffected and neutral. So, in the stream of life we are both the stone and the flowing water.

In my recent readings, particularly on the site, I have been struck by how the contrasts of life are not to be negated or avoided, but can be consciously brought into balance. These contrasts, these yin-yang "opposites," such as male and female, darkness and light, good and evil, need each other to exist. We might strive not only to balance these opposites within us, but to seek a third way, a way to neither negate one or the other, but to incorporate both and in essence create a new, or third way of being. We can be as strong as a stone which yields to the flow of life, as well as go with the flow when we hit obstacles. And go even further, a third option which is to be both at all times. I believe that being both the stone and the flowing water, being both the good and bad, dark and light, male and female, we will come to understand each other.

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