Growth by Subtraction
As we near the beginning of summer, the energy of "fullness" is in the air. The bright side of this fullness is the bursting trees and flowers, sunshine, children playing, increased warmth and energy all around.
A downside to this idea of "fullness" is a tendency to take on too much, to get too busy, and to have too much going on. This "more is better" mentality has long been promoted in our culture, but the current economic situation has given us a perhaps unexpected benefit—the opportunity to consider consuming less, travelling less and doing less. I'm reminded, and inspired, by the Buddhist monks who own only three robes and a bowl.
Years ago, I noticed a small index card taped to my mother's bedroom mirror. It said "Growth by Subtraction," a phrase she had heard somewhere and found meaningful. In many ways, our Yoga practice helps us shed the excess and outside influences that are not serving our highest needs and potential. A deep breath, alone, can shift our perspective from "automatic pilot" to an empowered presence...to a perspective Yoga students often describe as "returning to my Self". Yoga poses help us become embodied when we are otherwise in our racing heads. Meditation brings us, yet again, back to each moment and to a simplicity of focus on the here and now.
Are you having some quiet or unscheduled time this summer? Are you smelling the roses, watching the birds, being completely present for another person? These are forms of "meditation in action". Consider this nice opportunity to allow the unexpected to enter and revive your inner Self.
Lastly, a little joke: What kind of vacuum cleaner does a Buddhist use? One without attachments.