Monday, February 28, 2011

Valuing Perplexity



We all have problems. We all grapple with the unknown, about the Universe, sure, but more specifically about our own complicated life. We all want to solve our problems as quickly and painlessly as possible.

Sometimes it is only by questioning, or struggling, that we are driven to understand an otherwise hidden part of ourselves and our potential. Our questions fuel us to open our hearts, to seek for inspiration, to perform the necessary work, and more profoundly, to abandon our will to the grander wisdom of the divine. We must at once be willing to seek and do, and also sit comfortably and simply be with what we don't know or with what doesn't feel comfortable-happily resolved with the phrase, "I don't know." And sometimes to get real answers we must be willing to sit in our own darkness for a while.

This human tendency for control occurs regularly in our yoga practice as many of us strive to either know everything there is to know about yoga or try to perfect our poses; we usually eagerly fill in whatever blanks present themselves in our life's scripts.

Instead, let us practice this week the yoga principle of Santosha, or contentment, by learning to sit with and even value perplexity.

The following poem by David Whyte seems to speak directly to learning from the darkness, instead of running from it.

Sweet Darkness


When your eyes are tired

the world is tired also.


When your vision has gone

no part of the world can find you.


Time to go into the dark

where the night has eyes

to recognize its own.


There you can be sure

you are not beyond love.


The dark will be your womb

tonight.


The night will give you a horizon

further than you can see.


You must learn one thing.

The world was made to be free in.


Give up all the other worlds

except the one to which you belong.


Sometimes it takes darkness and the sweet

confinement of your aloneness

to learn


anything or anyone

that does not bring you alive


is too small for you.

~ David Whyte ~

I'm out of town this weekend. See you at Prana next week.

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