Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Yoga Sutras of the Dog

The purposeful marriage of opposites gives the yoga pose strength and stability. Front foot and knee push forward as back leg and foot push away. Rising arm reaches with purpose as falling arm holds back the world. Opposites join into a single creative force. I can find this balance and strength with the dog in my life. I can reconcile and join in a way that denies dividing and weakening. This is a dance of unity, of oneness. Recognize the dog as the Self and all alien nations disappear.

The body becomes more flexible within the tiny increments of a breath – a breath that is consciously joined and wilfully channelled. As it moves in and out, all else falls away. In the breath is the joy of fullness and the power of release. In the space between breaths, the utter peace of stillness. When I bring the force of my full attention to a moment of interaction with a dog, wholeness-of-being emerges. Expression fills and empties in tune with a primordial rhythm. This is a sharp and focused union with the infinite, boundless, creative All – encreatured. Join the dog in the moment – the party is there.

In the yogic practice, no two poses are ever the same. Each is a unique creation that the yogi brings forth from a vast sea of possibility. The pose can be enlivened and strengthened by faith or it can be weakened by doubt. The choice is always there for the conscious picking; a willingness to explore the possibilities creates it. Aware and awake, I can regard the dog as a being in full potential. I can allow canine possibility to emerge as I loosen the concepts that limit and deny. Or, I can believe him to be empty and thus create emptiness, condemning him to constant force, manipulation, coercion and bribery. All possibilities exist. Wake up and join the dog in spontaneous creative expression.

The yogi allows. Whatever is made in the practice is a gem of perfection. Expectation is released in this awareness. That which arises is accepted and loved. The body is not strong or weak, the mind not masterful or unwilling. The pose is not good or bad, precise or sloppy. All that is just is. In this release, the yogi becomes a master. The dog allowed is the dog who blossoms forth in ways that can not be imagined. The dog accepted is the dog who inhabits his creaturehood – living potential fulfilled, the being self-realized. The full and splendid canine-creative emergence is astonishing magic. Release the dog to dogness.

One does not arrive at a yogic destination. The yoga is never finished. The only thing to attain or realize is the journey itself as it continues to unfold on the mat and off. The same is true of the dog. There is no place in which he is known or finished. The dog is ever unfolding and the human realization of the dog ever unfolds in tune. Empty the mind of its contents and allow the dog to reveal who and what he is. Open and receptive to his teachings, explore the journey, releasing destination to the wind. The dog is the master of dogdom; seek no other.

The radiant heart of the yogi leads forth in effulgence. The countenance rises up to meet the creative force. Compassion, empathy, kindness and courage shine out in all directions. From the heart, it is possible to commune with the dog, intuiting nature, soul, what is needed and desired. Concepts, expectations, standards and desires evaporate in its light. Occupy the heart and be guided to the joy of the dog. Contemplate his perfection. Make every moment in his company a happy dance of love.

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