Part One: Releasing
Try this. Sit comfortably kneeling or on a chair and gently move your head and torso in the swing without words, and feel/notice the somatic experience of releasing. What is the feeling of release? Is it a letting go, like a sigh or an orgasm? Or a sense of freedom from constriction or unnaturalness, like releasing an animal back into the wild? Or opening a tight fist that has been clutching something for dear life, holding on to a point of view as if your life depended upon it, but then finding out you were mistaken, you had it all wrong.
In the Buddhist tradition, a story is told where a man was holding tight to a tree branch all night fearing there was a chasm below him. When dawn came he was able to see clearly that the ground was actually only a few inches below his feet. He was safe — the danger he felt was illusionary.
We release our life every single night, or we wouldn’t be able to go to sleep. We just let it go, defocus. Releasing or letting go of something is necessary for change and growth. Old ideas are released to make way for new ones more true ones. Old ways of identifying ourselves are released into order to discover a deeper, truer self. Inhale releases into exhale in order to breathe new breath. The cosmos is in a continual dance of release and renewal. The Zikr mirrors this dynamism, Never a dull moment!
Practice as you sit or kneel the feeling of letting go, casting off, giving away, unfurling, unclenching, as you swing your head and torso. You may want to hold lightly a thought such as releasing all things, or letting go of the drama, or just letting your body’s experience be the language. Or simply pay attention as you sigh.
We’ll post Part Two: Opening next week – sign up for the email list at the bottom of the page if you’d like to be notified.