Looking forward feels extremely overwhelming right now. It’s as if I fell asleep on the train somewhere only to wake up in in a bizarre dystopian universe. I’m trapped on the other side of the looking glass and Winona Ryder is not there to rescue me. Noooooooo!!!!! Things are pretty strange here, that’s for sure. I think we all can at least agree on that.
There’s nobody here but us, though. And… the big orange oompaloompa with tiny, pervy hands. To be honest, we all have a part in this. After all, it is shaking the very matrix of our society, creating a chasm so wide- the great divide. I’m hoping that things are this bleak because we are looking at the back of the spiral as it continues its forward thrust. At some point it will have to turn and we will be looking at the front of the spiral, no? One can dream.
How will we be able to stay engaged and awake in this new landscape? It makes me tired just thinking about it. Well, I have good news. Your yoga practice is here to help. It’s all about drishti, where and how you place your focus.
Drishti It is more than just a focal point, though, on a subtler level, for example, the sound of the breath can serve as that very thing for your mind. That point you are projecting, or on the flip side, bringing toward you, helps harness the mind itself, which makes for clarity. It is not just marker- energetically, it is a funnel, an extremely efficient vehicle, a magnifier, even, for honing your life force and cultivating it. When energy gathers, it becomes intention- sankalpa. If you then place that intention on something or someone, a dristhi, the intention becomes an action- karma.
When you find a North or a direction becomes clear, there are no choices to be made. Decisions make themselves. They fall into place organically like a deck of cards or a Jacob’s ladder. They make sense. The path reveals itself and all you have to do is put one foot in front of the other.
Intentions, in turn, are attention (saksat) turned inside out. Meaning that attention or presence is the root or starting point of intention. They are indivisible and cannot be separated. You can’t cultivate one without the other.
When you take away the sloppiness of disjointure and distill your beam- make it cleaner, clearer and more precise from its point of origin, it’s Bramha, which is presence (saksat); through its Vishnu, what sustains it- intention (sankalpa); all the way to its destination, its Shiva- action (karma)- you land in your flow. Precisely where you want to be. The sweet spot.
Now is the time to wrangle our attention and turn it into intention. Our focus and beings must remain indivisible. As we remember and celebrate Dr. King’s life on this crazy week, we keep marching forward. We move with an awareness of our past. There is so much to be done. We are in it for the long hall. This is the time to put everything we practice to the good use.
“When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bonds, your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be.”
~ Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
This quote is what I like to call the Dirty Dancing Syndrome. You know, you fall in love with baby cause you’ve been working on that one move?