Tuesday, January 24, 2012

watching, feeling, being

When the hummingbird
sinks its face
into the trumpet vine
and the funnels

of the blossoms,
and the tongue
leaps out
and throbs,

I am scorched
to realize once again
how many small, available things
are in the world

that aren’t
pieces of gold
or power–
that nobody owns

or could buy even
for a hillside of money–
that just
float about the world,

or drift over the fields,
or into the gardens,
and into the tents of the vines
and how here I am

spending my time,
as the saying goes,
watching until the watching turns into feeling
so that I feel I am myself

~Mary Oliver

Last night as I read the poem in bed it was this last sentence that leapt out at me....

"watching until the watching turns into feeling so that I feel I am myself."

I'm reminded this is the power within the yoga practice.

Watching the breath move. Visualizing the breath as it moves in and out the nostrils. Visualizing the breath as it streams into the body and swirls around.

Watching the body move. Do I move and glide with or without restrictions? Watching the movements that come with ease, watching the movements that feel challenging.

Watching the mind move. Are the thoughts positive or negative, constructive or destructive? Are they present moment oriented or drifting to the past or future? Are my thoughts serving me in this moment?

Watching. Watching. Watching.

Watching turns into feeling. Did you hear the invitation? It's not an invitation that screams. It's a rather quiet invitation.

Feeling the breath move. The breath moves in. Feeling the pause at the top of the inhalation. Breaths moves out. Feeling the pause at the end of the exhalation. Feeling how the breath helps the body to grow strong or surrender as needed. Feeling how the breath helps quiet the chitter chatter of the mind.

Feeling the body move. Creating a shape with our body, be it a warrior, triangle, or tree. Feeling the parts of our body that are strong and open, weak and tight. Feeling the rising and falling, expanding and contracting of energy.

Feeling the tone of the mind. Have I made peace with all that is in the moment? Can I cultivate appreciation for my body and breath so that my mind can grow more content? Can I see the good in my pose, the good in myself?

Feeling. Feeling. Feeling.

Watching and feeling lead to being.

And that's a pretty good place to be.

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