Letter from Orit

A year began, and time like a tireless spirit drives us on. Each day we sit on our meditation cushion, stand on our yoga mat, observe the consciousness and its ways, the body and its feelings. What is the mood we seek to nurture, and in what way should we work with the body? This question applies not only during practice but covers the entire day of the body-mind being called “I

I recently read an article describing boredom as a fertile state in which concentration stops during a specific action because it does not interest us. This allows the mind to wander. According to neurological research, this state of mind has great importance, because when we daydream, not concentrating, our consciousness transforms the incessant events of every day to be coherent and directed. Additionally, parts of the brain related to creativity are amplified. According to these studies, boredom is a powerful tool by which we make order out of disorder, and discover surprising directions and ways in our lives

While New Age spirituality praises the focus on ‘here and now,’ those who practice know that during practice thoughts often migrate from ‘here’ to other places. Perhaps it is a mistake to think that we should be constantly focused during practice. It is possible that the boredom and drifting thoughts that some practitioners experience when they are required to sit for a while without moving and focus on breath or mantra or the tip of the nose are just as important as the effort to stay focused and motionless

Boredom may arise in practice because it consists of repetitions of various exercises: sitting in meditation with a straight back, breathing exercises, and postures that repeat themselves in the same order. Because the practice is repeated and known, we feel calm and secure and can let go of holding and over-control. Therefore consciousness allows itself to wander, and so it may discover things that will enhance and intensify the experience of practice as well as our experience and actions in daily life

The security and calm of the familiar practice enables a softness within which the body stabilizes, regenerates, and rediscovers itself. For example, in going up to headstand, the mind in its wandering may notice a detail that until then it had not been aware of. When the pelvis moves forward to bring the head between the hands, continuous attention to the weight transition from the elbows to the hands creates a different way of placing the head, in which the neck is loose, and the shoulder blades wide. Thus, well-defined and familiar training, and attention within it, allows for wandering thoughts as well as focus, not knowing and knowing, the mind as spirit hovering over an abyss. Thus the principles are deepened within us, subtleties are revealed, and our repetitive practice becomes more skillful and renewed

  • All the best
  • Orit