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Time for Timeless-ness

Thinking about friend Karleen’s (Koen––a marvelous writer!!) comment on the frustration of making time for practice. I know this is THE most difficult aspect of Personal Practice––just shoe-horning it into the day. I don’t even think the word ‘resistance’ applies any more, the way it might have two decades ago when there really was a slightly calmer lifestyle––I’m not imagining this; life is more hectic––but internal resistance is greatly abbetted by our current hyper pace. I remember my friend Lori from Atlanta saying how she didn’t like to be too busy. That was five years ago, and it sounded revolutionary to me; everyone else complained proudly of being so busy. Now I look around and see people numb & crazed; its level of busy verging on insanity.

Amidst a bombardment of desire-mongering , making time to practice seems faintly absurd. Practice is slowing. It is simplifying the monkey mind, watching as neurotransmitters turn edginess to silk. Naturally this sounds appealing, but it is dissonant with modern life. Desire-mongering is the culprit. That’s the spot where I grab myself…Do I really want all the things? The interactions, the clothes, the food, the gizmos, the ambitions, the specious obligations, the perfections? No. I mostly don’t. I need a few things. A very few things. Mostly I need time, which means removing the clutter of acquisition. I need time for timeless-ness.

Here’s what Casita (Negron Wild) wrote me after the 2008 Cape Cod Winter Weekend:
“There are times when god stops the clock and I am suspended––frozen in time. There is something about the suspension that provides a neccessary contrast to the relentless motion of everyday life. Thank you for helping me be in stillness in motion, and watching the body’s intelligence emerge and communicate through the mind. These times are golden, as they are so hard to find, yet they tower over the details of everyday life––large and expansive.”

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    6 Comments
    1. I think that the desire to acquire and stay busy is the inner child wanting to feel important. I’m busy because I’m an important person. I have stuff because I’m a successful person.

      I’ve learned that I can be successful and important on my own terms; successful in the goals that I choose (not those that others choose for me); important to those that I surround myself with. I choose to live by my own rules, at my own speed.

      March 3, 2008
    2. I have some inclinations to agree with Cliff – I remembered before I had a cell phone how I would scoff at people wanting to ‘Look important’ by talking on their cell phones. I feel that way now when I tell people how much I have going on…the look at me with a bit of amazment and awe like, “how can one person possibly be doing all of that?” My immediate internal response is “oh my god, I can’t believe I’ve gotten myself *into* all of this.”

      I also agree with the contrasting idea of my practice time versus my every day life. I am very blessed to have access to a studio in which the physical space actually feels like ‘Space out of Time’. I believe that we were fortunate enough in our inital intentions for the space to have created that very much needed respite from reality. Once I enter the studio, time falls away. Whatever is created within the studio space is truly sacred and exists out of time as we typically perceive it….mini-vacations for my brain and spirit.

      March 3, 2008
    3. It really does help to set aside a physical space. Sanctuary. I find myself continuously weeding my dance room. Stuff tries to takes root. Stuff is deep. Stuff is a sign. For each person perhaps not the same sign.
      Lately my encroaching clutter is things requiring my attention: mail, papers to file, and clothing I no longer wear but haven’t yet jettisoned. I feel I must respond to all these little things. It brings to mind that Rumi quote about phenomena reaching into the deep well inside, filling their buckets and walking away…
      But no matter how stuff got there, it has deep layer. Perhaps aquisition is a notion of importance for some, but for others it might mean trying not to offend someone/something by saying no. I mean, have you ever bought something because you didn’t want to offend the salesperson?

      March 4, 2008
    4. Christyne #

      Recently I’ve been observing the actions of ego in myself, environment and others, and see how many ways ego finds to reinforce itself. The constant white noise of modern life, draining as it may be to our physical/mental/emotional/spiritual selves, is quite reinforcing to the ego. The more we feed the monster, the larger it grows. Do we really need all of these things, be they activities, tech, travel, objects? We know that we do not, and we know that they don’t fulfill us, but we pour so much of our money (energy) into them. I think that the possible recession is a really good time for us to learn how to put the ego on a diet….maybe abandon it altogether.

      I’m so glad you sent an email about your blog, Dunya…I’ve missed you!

      March 6, 2008
    5. Yes, the monster! (Funny what you said about the recession…more on that another time becasue I agree it can spark useful adjustments.) I was saying to a friend we used to live in cycles of abundance and scarcity. Now our world is endlessly abundant, necessitating continuous resistance––not the best dynamic, and certainly not a natural condition. There is, as well, a cultural imperative to consume while experiencing this accumulating consumption as morally virtuous–-an assault on inner balance.

      March 6, 2008
    6. Susan #

      Bought things to not offend the salesperson? How about keeping friends I don’t really enjoy because I do not want to offend them and then not having time for the friends I do enjoy. How nutty is that?

      April 28, 2008

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