When I was in Waldorf training, soooo many book titles flew across the room--most of them with titles like: Intuitive Thinking as a Spiritual Path: A Philosophy of Freedom; Nature's Open Secret: An Introduction to Goethe's Scientific Writings; Art as Seen in the Light of Mystery Wisdom Well, I have and/or have read many of those books. Not sure whether I've understood them, but have gotten a lot just from reading the titles.
The book title that has stuck with me the most from that time, though, is a book that, with a little Google research, I was not able to find. Often Steiner's books and lectures get such elaborate names because they've been translated into English 6 times, each time with the plan to make them more politically correct and more accurate than previous titles... Bear that in mind when I say that the title I have loved the most over the years and the one that makes me not even really need to read the book is one called Practicing Man.
This title may have evolved to something like Practices for the Betterment of One's Humanity, but, gender neutrality aside, I just like the idea that that's what I'm doing. I'm practicing man. I'm practicing how to be a human being. Every day.
Through yogic eyes, this reminds me of one of the basic tenets of yoga practice: practice. To Patanjali: Abhyasa. Steady, consistent practice. To Woody Allen: 80% of success is showing up.
It's always about more than specific, even ritual yogic practices, though.
Every day, I show up in my body and deal with all my little quirks. Some that I love, some that I hate. The ones I hate are almost always more interesting. For example, I have an anger streak. For more than a year now, I have been really looking into it and into attempting to practice to try not to get angry and things that are not worth getting angry about--like getting stuck in traffic. And life has presented me with plenty of opportunities to practice. It's exactly like the practice of asana: the more times I have the chance to practice, the easier I feel in certain poses. So, I'm Practicing Man on not being angry. I've got the whole process down to 15 minutes, start to finish. Ex: I get pissed about something. (and i mean angry wanna shout expletives wanna act like a stubborn selfish child) and then I sit, and say nothing, and watch until the feeling of anger is completely gone out of my body. The last two times this has happened, I have noticed the whole process takes 15 minutes. Not bad.
Mostly, I just think I'm practicing how to be human. It will always be just that. Practice.
practice: [n,v] learn by repetition; rehearse; commit, engage in or perform, translating an idea into action; repeated performance or systematic exercise for the purpose of acquiring skill or proficiency; habit
Click here to read a great Elephant Journal article on Anger from a Buddhist perspective.
Leave a Reply.
Yoga you can bring home.