Friday, January 8, 2016

Adding a Smile to Asana

Burrows Island, Anacortes, Washington 9/15

I've been considering happiness and the mindsets that create happiness. Looking out into the sphere of worldly news it's easy to crumble into the sad, fearful and dare I say empty cynical mindset. I wonder what course a spiritual seeker can chart to not be swamped in the tides that seem so turbulent?

I woke up this morning with the mind banging on his cage, saying listen to me, feed me, make me real. Mediation became my only refuge. The mat and the kneeling did Not take away the maniac locked inside my skull. And the yoga postures did not bring control over my mind. The chatter did, indeed continue. But what I realized again is that the I that observes all of this in meditation has something to say about what my experience will be.

I considered the dark thoughts I was watching as they groveled in the muddy banks of my thought stream. How could I have compassion on them while not buying into their dire predictions?

I could add a smile to my asana practice. Sounds funny, maybe even fake. A smile? Really? my kids are struggling. The world is crumbling. A smile?

But I tried it anyway. Do you know what happened? I felt a soft wave of happiness cruise through my aging bones. How about that! It was a moment, and I set a sail to catch  different wind than the bitter cold pulse from the icy mountains. I steered into a warmer wind... if only for a moment. And maybe that moment will reverberate through my entire day.

I wrote a poem about the experience. I hope you will try this when the sads and fears rise out of the thought stream.This is not a way to diminish any feeling or experience, even the cynical experience. But this may be a way to know there is a door out or through the darkness. 

Three Years from Now

Finding a momentary island

I don’t need to struggle to feel real.

I don’t want to wait

until the end to find sweet peace.

I want the honey now,

not only for me,

but to be so overflowing with freedom

that everyone around smiles and

just maybe imagines a life

happy and even beautiful.

Such a life only lives

right here and

right now.


not three years or

a hundred struggles

from now.


Try this:

just smile.

Make your face

wide with light.

Do this,

especially if you don’t

feel it.

The experience of Doing Happy

creates Being Happy…

and vice versa.


that’s freedom,

no matter the circumstance,

creating an island of refuge

right here, in the moment.


(c) Copyright, Words and Image, Richard Sievers, January 2016