Right or Wrong?
I looked up integrity and integrate as definitions and found something so beautiful in their relationship with one another. In this writing I begin to explore what that means for deep self-acceptance and how it plays out in asana practice.
Definition of Integrity
- Integrity: State of being whole, undivided. Quality of being honest. State of being whole and complete. One who follows inner values… has a strong sense of an inner moral compass.
- Integrate: Combine one thing with another so they become whole. Bring people or groups with particular characteristics or needs into equal participation into membership of a social group or institution. To put together parts or elements and combine them into a whole. To make whole by bringing all parts together – UNIFY.
Beyond Right and Wrong
We Have to Understand the Parts to Understand the Whole
How it plays out in asana practice:
When I break down a pose in class… we look at the whole and then examine all the parts… the hands, the arms, the torso, the legs, the toes, then the tension or ease in the body.. how to use effort… the ability to focus and concentrate our awareness on individual pieces… and all the emotions and thoughts that accompany each pose and our relationship to the sensations that arise… When we look at things from all different perspectives we begin to learn that some cause suffering, some are harder, some are easier, some we learn a lot from, some bring us freedom… so then we put it all back together… taking ourselves from concentrating on single points to spreading our consciousness into full absorption…so to stop and say… only the arms are important… or only the toes… one would miss the opportunity to integrate everything, to put it all together…which often brings about a deeper understanding of what it is to experience freedom…the basic truth connecting it all and the opportunity to practice according to that. We also experience this when using a prop.. at first the prop is to teach us something, to give us access to a different way of moving or seeing…to more possibilities than we dreamed of! Once we have access to that freedom, we no longer need the prop.
To Break Down and to Integrate:
Sutra 1. 32
Practice of fixing the mind on one object should be performed in order to eliminate disturbances.
This Sutra is giving us a path of action to work with a “dispersed mind.”
The disturbances / obstacles are listed in sutra 1.30
- disease / sickness
- idleness / mental inertia
- carelessness / haste
- sloth / apathy
- lack of detachment / intemperance
- misapprehension / errors in judgment of oneself
- failure to attain a base for concentration / lack of perseverance
- instability / inability to stay at a level once reached
The effects of these disturbances / obstacles are listed in Sutra 1.31:
- physical restlessness
- disturbed breathing
- How does self-knowledge encourage judicious choice?
- What are my values?
- What do these values give me? Why are they my values? What are they helping me to stay aligned with?
- How can I discern when my attachment sends me in the wrong direction?
- How can I evolve from quantity to quality in all aspects of my life: professional, emotional, and spiritual?
- What perspectives help the most when navigating obstacles to perceiving reality correctly, staying connected to my heart, and being present?
- How do perspectives that are aligned with my values affect my experiences and what alternative does this give me to my usual pattern of reaction?
List of Values:
- Being the best
- Continuous learning
- Cooperation Courage Creativity
- Ease with uncertainty
- Future generations
- Job security
- Making a difference
- Open communication
- Professional Growth
- Personal fulfillment
- Personal growth
This is an image of Buddha overcoming the temptations of Mara to attain enlightenment. The smaller meditating figures are Boddhisatvas, disciples of Buddha, who have remained mortal. The bird-like figure swallowing serpents at the top is Garuda, the devourer of the ego. The piece was reproduced from a Tibetan Buddhist repousee. From Wikipedia.. four metaphorical forms of “māra” are given: 1. Kleśa-māra, or Ma̋ra as the embodiment of all unskillful emotions such as greed, hate and delusion. 2. Mṛtyu-māra, or Māra as death. 3. Skandha-māra, or Māra as metaphor for the entirety of conditioned existence. 4. Devaputra-māra, the deva of the sensuous realm, who tries to prevent Gautama Buddha from attaining liberation from the cycle of rebirth on the night of the Buddha’s enlightenment.