What's so funny 'bout Peace, Love and Understanding?
Back to the prostrations and the sitting, my bones are doing better. My knees have stretched to take to sitting on the cushion. My back is accustomed to the new job and has grown stronger. The posture is more natural. These old bones have begun to make way for my heart.
At first, 3000 prostrations seemed like some stern Eastern hazing ritual; like having to 'man up' to deserve admission. In the last post, I described the physical problems I was having and the ego trouble that went along with them. To drop to one's knees and gently touch the forehead to the mat is a challenging physical act. To start sitting cross legged on the floor in midlife is a challenging physical act.
And yet asking us to do 3000 prostrations in 5 or 6 months had nothing to do with our physical bodies; nothing to do with hazing. The lesson of the prostrations was about the heart and mind. To decide that something is important to your humanness is relatively easy. To do something about it, even just once, a bit harder. Moreover, to actually dedicate yourself to do something deliberately every single day is next to impossible to accomplish on your own - just for yourself.
Its when I realized that this deliberate action was banking peace and compassion for all beings that it began to lighten. Its when I realized that the prostrating was part of a pledge to live a life of peace and love and understanding, that it became manageable.
As I begin to realize that I'm not doing this for myself at all, but for everyone and everything, the 'I' starts to dissolve into the 'all.' Its then that I can feel the universe is prostrating with me; has been all along. And it gets a little easier with all that help.