Synchronicity is the experience of two or more events which are causally unrelated occurring together in a meaningful manner. In order to be synchronistic, the events must be related to one another temporally so as to rule out direct causation. (Wikipedia)
SUFFERING IS OPTIONAL
Yoga Journal http://www.yogajournal.com/practice/2246
Aging, sickness, and moments of pain are intrinsic to the life of all of our bodies. Bodily pain comes in many guises—some of it is chronic, some temporary, some unavoidable. Our first response is to resist it. We have numerous strategies to ward pain off, to avoid it, or to camouflage it with distraction. Aversion, terror, and agitation interweave themselves with the experiences in our bodies and we are easily lost in dread and despair. Our bodies may even be seen as enemies, sabotaging our well-being and happiness. When we are enmeshed in this knot of fear and resistance, there is little space for healing or compassionate attention to occur.
And yet we can learn to touch discomfort and pain with an attention that is loving, accepting, and spacious. We can learn to befriend our bodies, even in the moments when they are most distressed and uncomfortable. We can discover that it is possible to release aversion and fear. With caring and curious attention, we can see that there is a difference between the sensations occurring in our bodies and the thoughts and emotions that react to those sensations. Instead of running from pain, we can bring a curious and caring attention into the heart of pain. In doing so, we discover that our well-being and inner balance are no longer sabotaged. Surrendering our resistance, we find that pain is no longer intimidating or unbearable.
Turning our attention directly toward the distress or pain, we discover that the pain we had previously perceived as a solid mass of discomfort is in truth very different. Sensations are changing from moment to moment. And there are different textures within those sensations—tightness, heat, pressure, burning, stinging, aching... As we ask, "What is this?" the label "pain" becomes increasingly meaningless.
Within all pain and distress we discover there are two levels of experience. One is the simple actuality of the sensation, feeling, or pain, and the other is our story of fear that surrounds it. Letting go of the story, we are increasingly able to connect with the simple truth of the pain. We discover that it may be possible to find calm and peace even in the midst of distress.
Pain in our body, particularly chronic and acute pain, has an inevitable emotional impact that can be equally debilitating. Blame, fear, self-condemnation, despair, anxiety, and terror can arise in the wake of physical illness and root themselves in our bodies, further hindering our capacity to heal and find ease. Our emotional reactions of fear and resistance often lodge themselves in our bodies alongside the pain, to the point where they are almost indistinguishable. Learning to notice the distinction between pain and our reaction to it, we begin to see that although the pain in our bodies may not be optional, some of the pain of our reactions is optional.
The natural desire to avoid pain is translated in our minds and hearts into turbulence and anxiety, and our sense of inner balance is swept away in the avalanche of those feelings. Even when we are fortunate in that our body recovers, without mindfulness the emotions associated with illness or pain linger much longer in our bodies and minds. We may begin to live in a fearful way, treating every unpleasant sensation as a messenger of doom, assuming it signals a return of the pain or illness. The damage we do to ourselves in ignoring the impact of our emotional reactions compounds our tendency to feel anxious and afraid.
There is a great art in learning to be present with pain, just as it is, in the moment when it arises. But with mindfulness, we can learn to make peace with pain. We can learn to be present one moment at a time and so liberate ourselves from the dread of what the next moment may bring. We can learn the kindness of acceptance rather than the harshness of denial.
This article appeared in my inbox Saturday. I have been on the mailing list for several months with no activity, then out of the blue, this appeared. As I was reading it, it occurred to me how much the material that is presented in this article applies not just to our individual body and mind, but to the collective body and mind of our church, country and society as a whole, and how relevant it is to what is happening around us at the present time.
Shortly after this article appeared in my inbox, I ran across another article on MSNBC website titled: Yoga Causes Stress http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27008935/
YOGA CAUSES STRESS ...
MASSENA, N.Y. - A group of parents and religious leaders in upstate New York want yoga classes out of public schools, saying the instruction violates boundaries between church and state.
Two high school teachers began using yoga last year to help students relieve stress before exams. Special education teacher Martha Duchscherer and Spanish teacher Kerry Perretta also were developing a districtwide program.
But those plans were halted after parents and others in the community complained students were being indoctrinated in Hindu rites.
"We are not opposed to the benefits. We can understand the benefits. We are opposed to the philosophy behind it and that has its ties in Hinduism and the way they were presenting it," said the Rev. Colin Lucid of Calvary Baptist Church in Massena. (I wonder if he is related to Fred Phelps.)
Board: No hidden religious activityThe program does not have ulterior motives, Julie Reagan, Massena Board of Education president, said Thursday.
"If the school board felt there was any hidden religious activity behind the motives of our two instructors, we certainly wouldn't allow that," she said. "There is absolutely none of that. The teachers are well intended and trying to offer an aspect of fitness in the classroom that relaxes and readies the children for better learning."
A hundred schools in 26 states use yoga in the classroom to relieve stress, Reagan said. Federal funds and grants are available to educators seeking yoga certification, she said.
According to a statement on the Web site of the American Yoga Association, yoga is not a religion, although its practice has been adopted by Hinduism, as well as other world religions.
There are more than 100 different schools of yoga, which seeks to bring harmony to the mind and body. The most commonly practiced type in the United States is hatha yoga, which encompasses physical movements and postures, plus breathing techniques.
"It's been a little discouraging that this program has taken on a negative tone," said Duchscherer, who has taught in the Massena district for 11 years. "The intention was never to teach religion. ... It was to introduce relaxation techniques."
Reverend: Program causes stress
But Lucid believes the voluntary program causes stress and should be offered as an after-school activity.
"People have made it a religious war, and it's not a religious war. We are basically concerned parents, saying we don't want our children participating in something that could cause them more stress and confusion," Lucid said. (Unfortunately, none of these people will ever realize that they are the source of the stress, not the program)
Parents in Aspen, Colo., were successful in demanding the removal of yoga in the local curriculum in 2002. In Alabama, religious leaders pushed for a 1993 law prohibiting the teaching of yoga in schools, citing connections between yoga and Hindu religious training.
This really is pathetic. It is obvious that none of them have a clue what they are talking about. Obvious that someone has told them what to think, what to believe and they did so. If any of them had any knowledge or understanding of Hinduism, they would never make such a blantantly ignorant remark as "yoga is an indoctrination into Hindu rites"! Using that same logic, one could say that fish should not be served for school lunches because fish and fish symbols are used in catholicism, and as a result, serving fish violates the seperation of church and state. As I said, pathetic.
This article clearly demonstrates how a very small number of frightened, ignorant people demanding to have their way can cause disruptions to the blessings that the rest of us are not afraid embrace and enjoy.
What I find so fascinating is how both articles showed up the same day, and how the first article was presenting how much yoga can do to releive fear and stress, and in the 2nd article how much that group is fighting to hold on to their fear and to get rid of anything that might remove that fear. Interesting how the 2nd dovetailed so well into the qualities that the first was addressing.
Also interesting in yesterday's news, the McCain campaign announced that they were resorting to hate tactics to drive voters away from Obama. According to McCains campaign staff, McCain's abilities are not enough to win him the election. Yep, they really said that. ""McCain's team has decided that its emphasis on the senator's biography as a war hero, experienced lawmaker and straight-talking maverick is insufficient to close a growing gap with Obama."" And there we have it, straight from the elephants ass. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27018572/
From his own campaign staff, the admission that McCain cannot win the election on his merits.
Dont you just love synchronicity?