Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Kindness, Again

 [image:  what happened to a violet when I missed around with Photoshop]

a post from Laurie D., who has been working with a bad back -
I am trying to remember some real basic stuff, like don't sit in a chair that doesn't have support, no matter how cushy it is.  Like stopping to lie on the floor, or couch, when I need to.  And to do my ball and neck exercises, to sit properly (I just changed) and to move loosely. . . .  I really want my first commitment to be to healing me.
This struck me because I recently vowed to be kind to myself.  A vow is more than an intention or goal, is about my own behavior, and has a spiritual dimension - i.e., not about wanting a Prada handbag (which I don't, by the way).  Vows come to me unprompted during meditation or sitting in church. I tend to support them with a mudra (hand posture) of intention, for which I can't find an image right now.

It seems on the face of it that it takes much more effort to be attentive to my needs than it would have when I was 18, or 30, but second thought shows that's not true.  It's just that when I was young and had seemingly limitless energy I ignored my needs altogether, trained hard to go along - as my mother would say to me, angrily, Get with the program.  I don't remember a specific occasion - there were many, having to do, I think, with smile, laugh, drink, have a good time! It strikes me now that going along with the crowd is usually the wrong thing to do. Time and experience, and lovingkindness meditation, have developed my own innate tendency not to.

My mudra of intention is based on a yogic understanding of energy.  I like mudras, though I have come out of my transplant remembering almost none. Zen students meditate using both body and hand mudras intended to invite enlightenment. They certainly enforce concentration, there's that. Here is a fascinating article about all things postural, including the Zen mudra.

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