Monday, August 16, 2010

Pulling Up, Pulling Down

This past weekend I spent in training with Rolf Gates and the other 40 or so awesome yogis and yoginis in the program. As has been the case in the other two weekends I have spent with them there were so many amazing moments. Here are a few:

  • We are often addicted to this notion that we are somehow having the "wrong" experience. "This shouldn't be this way, if only I had xxx, or it was this way or that way, it'd be better, I'd be happier, one day I'll be happy."
  • Habitually we think we shouldn't be learners, we should be experts, right? We need to remind ourselves that we are all learners in this lifetime. Not just us, but everyone we meet.
  • Because the mind thinks something we think we have to react to it, when often it's more likely that if we wait it out, and let it pass... we stay in a more peaceful state, and everything is okay!
  • The Chakras are the territory or the landscape itself, where the rubber meets the road so to speak, and the Yoga Sutras are the map that helps us navigate the landscape skillfully.
  • The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali represent the best of the wisdom of the teachings of both Christ and the Buddha (Rolf credits these three teachers for in essence saving his life)
  • Spiritual maturity results in the ability to love more. We must be so still in ourselves that we can truly see another being (he was referencing Avatar there... "I see you.")
  • If we have faith in the way things are, we will have something precious left to give away.
  • Before speaking, ask yourself: "Is it truthful? Is it kind? Is it necessary?" These are functions of three of the chakras... speaking is a function of the fifth chakra (throat), kindness is a function of the fourth chakra (heart), and truthfulness is a function of the sixth chakra (mind).
  • Chanting stimulates the physical body, in particular the parasympathetic nervous system which is the "rest and relax" system. So does exhaling, which stimulates the Vagus nerve which is part of the PNS... that's why yoga so readily brings us to a state of calm.
  • We live by narratives... they are based on experience... they're not static and unchanging though we may believe them to be. We can determine the narrative by which we will live. "What is the narrative I want to live by?"
  • Pulling Up and Pulling Down. This was a funny story that Rolf told about this time he was in a meditation retreat. You typically spend your time in three places: the meditation room, the dining hall, and your bedroom. Also, the bathroom. In a moment of clarity as he stood facing the wall (lol), he looked at the toilet seat cover receptacle which said, "Pull Up, Then Pull Down." (Rolf says he is in a state of being now where he is receptive to messages that are sent his way on a regular basis and that affords him the opportunity to learn the lesson. I hope I get there too!) He realized that "Pulling Up" refers to ascending the energy body and resolving the issues of the seven Chakras... achieving insight and awareness of issues of group, relationship to self and other, our emotional health, our ability to express ourselves, our ability to see the truth, and our connection with a higher power... but that's not enough, is it? If we remain in that state we have only helped ourselves. We must "Pull Down" and give back in some way... take what we have learned and make something happen that helps others. For example, an idea sprouts from the realm of Divine Consciousness (7th/Crown). We begin to think about the idea and plan in our heads (6th/Mind). We then speak about our idea and share it with others (5th/Throat). We begin to get emotionally involved with the idea, breathe life into it, so to speak (4th/Heart). We commit our will to executing the idea and bringing it to fruition (3rd/Solar Plexus). We commit resources and employ others to making the idea happen, raise money etc. (2nd/Sacral). We then see the idea happen in real life and we experience it on a collective level (1st/Root). We have manifested Divine Consciousness! We took something vague and formless, infused it with intention, and it took form. If this story was not enough to give me shivers, he then asked us, "What is the bridge between pulling up and pulling down?.......Generosity." My hair stood on end. He added that if we stay in the Pulling Up or Pulling Down mode we can experience burnout and/or stagnation.
  • Our spiritual, physical, and emotional health depends not on demolishing the conditioned self, it depends on integrating the conditioned (Consciousness) and the unconditioned (ego-self).
  • True freedom is realizing we have access to an infinite, unlimited number of responses to any given situation.
  • Avidya= not seeing our true nature clearly.
  • The wisdom of the 7th Chakra is "Live in the Present Moment" (Caroline Myss)
  • When we eat, we must make skillful choices which recognize and thus enhance our connection to Divine Consciousness. If we train and teach yoga for the benefit of self and other (one of the precepts of our training program), then it follows that we might consider eating skillfully and mindfully which contributes to the health of the planet. Consider the source of your food and how far it had to travel to reach your plate. Eat your food slowly, be grateful for every bite.
  • We need to know when to flap our wings and when to soar.
Obviously I could go on, but those are direct lines from my notes. I have had the absolute privilege of getting to know some amazing people. I am so excited to see where the next 10 months take me.

No comments:

Post a Comment