[Guest Post By Andrew Newman – www.lifewalkers.com]
After 10 years of personal work, my yoga mat became my friend.
The difficulty in those 10 years was a peculiar mixture of avoidance, procrastination and a disturbing intolerance of myself. In short, I avoided every opportunity I had to meet with myself. I didn’t love all of myself.
Inside me, the paradoxes of life were pulling me apart. Good fought with bad, right fought with wrong, kindness with anger. The mother of all duels was between happiness and sadness.
Every time I touched happiness I wasn’t able to appreciate it because I was so certain of my pending fall back down to sadness. When I touched sadness I got angry with myself, blaming myself for being somewhere that I “shouldn’t” be.
“Nothing causes more pain than wishing you were somewhere other than here”
This turmoil was enough to keep me from forming a consistent meditative yoga practice. Each high was met with a low and I judged myself a failure. This hurt, so I avoided myself and quit trying.
So, what changed?
While I wasn’t dedicated to a meditative yoga practice, I was dedicated to a path of healing and continued to surround myself with wise teachers and community. Over time I learnt about Ironic Suffering and Compassionately Holding Opposites.
IRONIC SUFFERING is created when you make a simple problem more complex in your attempt to fix it. You get further away from the original pain and its resolution.
COMPASSIONATELY HOLDING OPPOSITES is a simple exercise that creates ease as you allow your opposites to exist without being cut away, belittled or denied.
To Experience this first-hand: Click Here.
I began to recognise that the opposites of “silence” and “noise” co-exist. They are somehow one thing and opposites that I can compassionately hold as they arise inside me. In this way I was never failing. Whether I experienced inner silence or inner noise, my victory was in being engaged with my practice, seated on my yoga mat.
I also came to recognise an innocent, rookie error in my belief about meditation. I thought that “good” meditation was about inner stillness.
This BEGINNERS BELIEF is enough to corrode the strongest meditators, for it works against the true purpose of meditation (and all spiritual practice).
If your head is noisy on the inside and you wish it wasn’t, your wish adds suffering and distraction from your true practice of being yourself, fully here and now.
“When we grow our tolerance of the differences and the tensions, we experience the fullness that is Life.”
This knowledge never dissolved the struggle of my personal practice and it can’t dissolve yours. It did simplify it and gave me tolerance and practical tools with which I could relate to where I was. It is my hope to help you in this way. To awaken to the moment you are.
This is reflected in his beautiful line of children’s books.
He graduated from the Barbara Brennan School of Healing in Austria; studied 4 years of Nondual Kabbalistic Healing in the Netherlands and holds a postgraduate diploma in marketing management from the University of Cape Town.
His multifaceted career includes work as a jeweller, a poemcatcher, a hammock maker and a festival director (Edinburgh Festival of Spirituality and Peace)
Connect with Andrew here: www.lifewalkers.com