Monday, February 06, 2006

Let down

In a guided meditation yesterday, the instructor asked us to, simultaneously, focus our attention on our breath while remaining peripherally aware of all the other sensory perceptions of sound, feeling, etc. we were receiving. Today, I’m trying to apply that two-sided mindfulness to the training: while focusing attention on what is required by the training itself, I try to remain aware of, but not attached to, the other sensations.

That’s proving difficult, as one of the other sensations tempting me toward a shift of focus is a feeling of muted but general disappointment.

In part, that feeling should reinforce that I’m simply at a stage in the training cycle – and one that the teachers tried to prepare me for by emphasizing the importance of dropping my expectations in order to receive what is available, trusting that what is available is sufficient to justify the investment of time and money. But the suspicious part of my mind isn't satisfied that their prediction of this condition should decrease my willingness to act upon it.

Sources of disappointment: the lack of depth and discussion over the conceptual structure of yoga that seems to offer so much more to reward deeper exploration; a kind of “mind/body” dichotomy Alanna teaches that seems to exclude much of what I find valuable in yoga; the physically worn-out feeling from increasing the demands on my body during this period; the tension of investing as much time as I can manage into yoga and learning while keeping work and family obligations and burdens at bay; the improbability that I’ll realistically find opportunity to teach yoga at the end of this process given job and family and everything else.

So that’s the background music I’m hearing as I focus on today’s tasks. Intellectually, it’s easy to conclude that the end of week two of a nine-week course is hardly the right time to evaluate the entire system. So what, then, should I do with the feeling of disappointment?

Today, I choose to take my own advice: notice, embrace, honor, and release it. It may return in a more useful or compelling form that leads to a different response. Or it may be content with being noticed, and go its way to be replaced by something equally evanescent tomorrow.