Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Copyright Lance Kinseth, Open Heart-Mind/Kanshin, 2011
IN CALM BODY-MIND practices, as the heartbeat comes into our awareness, a sense of serenity may sweep over us. It is likely not just mindfulness of being “present,” or “being in the moment.” The heartbeat may be touching something deeper within us that we intuitively know but that does not raise to explicit consciousness. Our heartbeat reflects the ebb and flow of the day, and that, in turn, of the roll of the Earth through its seasons and the ongoing creation of the galaxies in geo-time. We may forget that we live simultaneously within different scales of time, with geo-time being somehow “inside” everyday life. Psychologically, this experience offers an anecdote to calm the fast pace of daily life. And on occasion, the calmness may swell to a sense of serenity.
Draw a picture of “serenity,” and there may be a strong sense of timelessness and calmness. At some point, the immanent moment may express the eternal. “Time” as we know it is still there as the heart beats moment-by-moment. But something changes. You might assume the pose of a resting child, legs folded and back bent over folded legs. The body stills and softens, and the breath flows, while day simultaneously ebbs slowly into night and Earth falls through interstellar space. A moment in everyday time outspreads into a vast array of time, so as to open a sense of timelessness—a stillness—that cools the heat of the moment.
Spend some moments with a flower. Look very closely, as if seeing a flower for the rift time. There, in the bold and subtle colors and in the tiny details, find very real, precise complexity that is beyond us. Follow the life of the flower and find that it is an expression of the tilt of the Earth and energy of a star. Find also that this depth is undistanced from us, in each moment. And that which you find in the flower is within the very heart of each of us. Hermann Hesse wrote, Within you there is a stillness and a sanctuary to which you can retreat at any time and be yourself. Inside each moment of time is, perhaps, a vast unbreakable flow that is the thing that lives best.
Within each of us and within each event, there is a palace of repose that is tranquil, restful. To reach this place, we might let go of no more than our small view—not abandoning anything, but rather, unfixing, allowing for acceptance of contradictions and limitations, opening, becoming curious, learning.
Paradoxically, moment-by-moment, soft breath of gentle body-mind practices concretely opens a timeless, serene pathway inside each of us that, paradoxically, opens on a landscape that dissolves “inside/outside” and time, that melds body and mind and spirit into a borderless tapestry of restful, timeless being-ness.