In the documentary, Carmen Boulter, who at the time of the film was connected with the University of Calgary, disputes our belief that we are the most advanced, sophisticated civilization of Earthly times. She and others assert that there were far more advanced peoples long ago, with knowledge and skills long lost to us. One of the segments refers visually to the concept of cylical time, in which, as many Indian scriptures state, we are currently living in the darkness of Kali Yuga, when the cycle of humanity and time falls apart before we move again towards a Golden Age.
What was most interesting to me was not whether the claims in the documentary are true. What caught my attention were the repeated statements that if we continue to cling to our conventional ways of thinking about civilization, time and progress, we are likely to miss what is right in front of us. These scholars assert that it is preposterous to think that the pyramids were built by slaves using ropes to haul massive stones up an incline and fit those stones so precisely that we marvel at the skills we cannot duplicate today, even given all our technology. They tell us that, when we cannot admit that our perspective of time and advancement is incorrect, we have no hope of finding Truth. It would serve us better if we released the beliefs which bind us and prevent us from Seeing.
I am learning this lesson on a much smaller scale. Like many yoga aficionada, I belief that yoga asana and meditation practice are beneficial to everyone, especially if one doesn't "go for broke," and push the boundaries of either asana or meditation before one is ready. This week, my physiotherapist has pointed out that my belief about asana is not necessarily true and that it certainly isn't correct for me right now. While the stretching involved in asana is beneficial to most bodies, even the mildest of asana involves many contractions in the muscles. At the moment, I must avoid as many upper body muscle contractions as possible, which means little or no asana for me.
The lesson is a good one, but very difficult to practice, even given that I'm more drawn to the philosophical side of yoga than the physical plane. My research confirms what my physiotherapist tells me. (I especially like the iTunes app, 3D Yoga, which shows the muscles which lengthen and contract in various asana. It's free and informative.) My instinct is to ignore what is right in front of me and in my body. I like to move in my practice. I believe that the physical aspects of yoga will help me heal, but I have to accept that a physical practice does not serve me Now. If I open my eyes, my heart, my mind and body to what I've been shown, I will find other ways to heal and yoga asana will open to me again, more quickly.
We all have these moments of locked beliefs, times we Know something, which, in reality, may or may not be true. The next time you stumble upon one of these locks, these blocks on your path, ask with an open heart, "What is this?" It may be that your Truth is not quite what you thought it was. Opening your eyes to new possibilities will prevent you from ignoring what is right there, in front of you. It may show guide you towards a hidden, obvious path.
|"What is this?" Can you guess?|