I had a fun week of teaching, so many intentions to choose from, but this weeks vibe comes from a great Zen Story. This intention was a powerful one.
"The Zen teacher’s dog loved his evening romp with his master. The dog would bound ahead to fetch a stick, then run back, wag his tail, and wait for the next game. On this particular evening, the teacher invited one of his brightest students to join him – a boy so intelligent that he became troubled by the contradictions in Buddhist doctrine. “You must understand,” said the teacher, “that words are only guideposts. Never let the words or symbols get in the way of truth.
Here, I’ll show you.” With that the teacher called his happy dog. “Fetch me the moon,” he said to his dog and pointed to the full moon. “Where is my dog looking?” asked the teacher of the bright pupil. “He’s looking at your finger.”
“Exactly. Don’t be like my dog. Don’t confuse the pointing finger with the thing that is being pointed at. All our Buddhist words are only guideposts. Every man & woman fights his way through other men’s & women’s words to find his or her own truth.”
ON THE MAT
This story is a teaching about direct experience. As a yoga teacher all I really am is a guidepost, any teacher that tells you differently is one that has an inflated ego. We share words in the form of cues, but this great story reminds us to not look at the finger, pay attention to what it is being pointed at.
In our hot room we have mirrors, and it’s not there so you can see where I am the room (the finger). The mirrors are there so you can see yourself (the moon) and with the guideposts (my cues/words) you can see where you need to shift for alignment. When you stay connected to the direct experience in each posture you can feel if that cue I’m giving is not right for your body.
A yoga practice helps us discover more truth about ourselves. So I invited the students to breathe through the words and give themselves permission to experience each posture in their bodies. I encouraged them to go further then my words and allow their practice to be alive because of their own hard work.
OFF THE MAT
This work we do on the mat has great impact in our life off the mat. Imagine what becomes possible when we have a direct experience with each step we take in a day. We become empowered!!
Sometime the words are "fear" and "doubt." Breathe through the words and step into our actions with more clarity.
Sometimes the words sound like, “I am not good enough.” Breathe through the words to discover that you’re valuable and powerful.
Sometimes the words sound like, “I have to do it, otherwise people I love will be upset with me.” Breathe through the words to discover your own truth, the one that lies beyond expectations put on you.
Sometimes the words sound like excuses. Breathe through the words and take responsibility for your actions.