I was in my Friday morning yoga class, sitting patiently on my bolster for my teacher to start his opening remarks. This teacher is a Buddhist Meditation Teacher & Yoga Teacher by trade...hence the reason I love going because I get the wisdom and the movement double whammy in his classes. It's about 15 minutes of pure meditation training and insight, then 60 minutes of asana flow, where I open my hips, my lower back releases, and I feel completely juicy.
On this particular morning, my body was feel agitated, tight, and wound up, like a piece of marine rope tangled and left on the shores for someone to save.
His talk started. "What is your awareness aware of?" Huh, I thought. Interesting idea. I closed my eyes and sank deeper, trying to be present, trying to do meditation. Ahhhh...I see my problem, I instantly thought. I am so programmed into doing, that I never get to just be aware. Huh. Of course, my mind was blown. I started down the rabbit hole of where this shows up in other areas of my life. For example, being at home. I have the hardest time just being at home, reading, sitting, listening. I become agitated quickly, running to the next chore or task to check off the list. I see...I am succumbing to the human condition.
"What is your awareness aware of?" He continued to ask this question probably every five minutes for the rest of the class. For me, my consciousness went something like this...
My calves are tight. Oh, I can feel that in my hamstrings...why is my back so tight? I need to go to yoga more. I need more routine in my life. I need structure. I want to be home more, making dinner. I need to clear out my clutter. That would feel good. Pack up some books...downsize.
And then..."What is your awareness aware of?" Boom. Shot back into real time.
Can I tune into my breath? oh yeah, that feels good. Deep breathing. Release. Ahhhh....breath. Now I am into it. I am aware of my body, strong body, healthy body, resilient body. Oh yeah. That's nice...big stretch, opening of my hip. In my body.
On and on this went for the next 50 minutes or so. It was lovely. For the first time, I was able to be in my body, feel every little muscle, bone, fascia, tendon, ligament...stretch & release.
I totally loved the class as you can probably tell. As Jack Kornfield says in his book A Path With Heart, our minds are puppies and it is our job to train them. We do this not my doing meditation but by being aware. What is your awareness aware of? Try that on for the next 10 minutes, how about the day, what about the rest of your life? This is the juice. This is the work.