By Kirby Browne, Permaculture student
The rain had been coming down with the same drenching monotony all day, and I was supposed to be at my yoga class in twenty minutes. So with teeth clenched in defiance to the weather, I pulled on my hood, and braved the eight blocks on my bicycle. I was completely soaked when I arrived. It was a relief to unfurl my mat onto the hardwood, and come to cross legged in the dim, still warmth of the yoga studio.
My teacher often incorporates a theme into her classes. It’s a tactful, graceful way of sweeping us all together to the one intention. Today she began class by speaking of the immediate quality of living, how we only have the present moment to experience life, and that all experience should be cherished. I thought about my rainy bicycle ride to the studio – how I had felt a slight resentment about getting wet and cold, and a loathing at having to repeat the experience again after class.
And then I realized that to feel cold is to be alive. To me, it resonated as more than just the old cliché about living in the moment. I realized that by skipping over the details of our lives, especially those which we perceive to be bad or unpleasant, like the feeling of rain on our face, we are losing something immeasurably precious.
So many moments are lost to us, because our minds race ahead with plans and ideas, or fall behind into memories. In our yoga practice we learn to rein the mind in, to quiet the constant static buzz of our thoughts, and open to the magic of the present. We re-learn to view the world with wonder and gratitude. Buddha said that “if we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change.”
I emerged from class with a firm intention to embrace the rain. I would cycle home in full awareness of my skin; I would be alive and grateful to the moment. I was resolute and excited about my new perspective on the afternoon, only to step out onto the street to find my fiancé smiling and waving from the driver’s seat of his ford; he’d come to pick me up because of the rain… Oh well, I guess I now had a new moment to be grateful for.
Image:By Juni from Kyoto, Japan (Flickr)
[CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons