Have you ever witnessed a friend, family member or colleague at work create suffering or patterns of suffering for themself? It’s so hard to watch. It’s so easy to identify the pattern, the problem, the mistakes. It’s equally simple to see an obvious solution. On the other hand, you know that communicating your clarity and the obvious solution is unlikely to have the desired effect for the sufferer. Your suffering friend will likely defend their actions, their pattern and even fight to maintain their problem (or that there isn’t a problem at all) until their last breath. What you would witness, if you ever got the courage to approach your suffering person knowing that the friendship or relationship might be forever damaged, is the power of the ego. Your ego knows that suffering and the commitment to that pattern is comfortable and complete. The ego will jump in to defend itself and hear everything as a criticism. The ego will not be defeated. And, even worse, the truth for all of us is that we are also just as suffering, just as stuck in patterns of our own demise. We are, at all times, the witness to suffering and the sufferer.
There is excellent news though! We are not actually stuck in this wheel of suffering (aka. samsara)! And, I imagine that you already know what the solution is, but, your ego is so strong that you aren’t permitting yourself to act on it. If you have read any magazine, journal, newspaper, been on Facebook, made a new friend or overheard a conversation at a restaurant in the past ten-years, then you know that meditation and yoga are good for you. REALLY good for you. If you are reading this, it means you likely have an even deeper knowing. Also, through trial and error you likely know that lots of things that you thought would make you happy haven’t actually relieved you of any suffering at all. Examples might include: getting into college, getting laid, falling in love, having children, getting a new job, graduating, passing that test, buying a new car, when summer arrived, the day your book was published, that time you won that award, etc. Sure, there was momentary pleasure, bliss, joy, excitement, passion, delight…………but, you woke up the next day your same miserable self. Or maybe you were back to suffering in an hour or maybe the things you thought would bring you happiness didn’t at all, but everyone expected you to be happy and that expectation made you feel even worse? And, there you were, back on the wheel of suffering.
For me, this is what I like about Wisdom Body Yoga and Meditation. This yoga, based on Tibetan Buddhist yoga and meditation practices, brings a state of balance and equanimity that is immediate and satisfying. Although many of the physical postures are identical to the Indian yogas that informed the practices traditionally, the intention, visualizations, and breathing techniques are very different. With regular practice, we come to understand that we have the ability to generate a feeling of calm. If this feeling of calm and joy is self-generated, then it is not so far of a stretch of the imagination to know that we are also creating our own suffering. In addition, we are empowered to know that we don’t have to rely on anyone else acting in any particular way to feel calm and happy. We can cultivate these qualities anytime we want and, in many cases, all it takes are a few deep breaths or some mindful movement or even a little nap.
The physical movements in my Wisdom Body Yoga and Meditation classes are not all that difficult. Because the movements require certain breathing patterns and also visualizations, they are mostly practiced slowly and with great compassion. This makes the practice available to anyone who wishes to try it. I offer this class once a week on Wednesdays from 10:00 to 11:00 am at Mookshi Wellness Center in Pittsburgh. The energetic principles behind this practice are the foundation for my group coaching program, Make Room, which can be accessed anywhere in the world with an internet connection.
I can’t make you do yoga or learn to meditate. But I will assure you that it is worth the investment of time and energy to give it a try. It is my life’s work to practice this and share the practice. Of this, I am sure. I am just as sure that your new purse isn’t going to make you happy by the end of the week, but a commitment to your meditation practice will give you a lifetime of security and well-being. Oh, I know, your ego just whispered in your ear that you: don’t have the money, don’t have the time, would have to give up your knitting group, would miss precious time with your children, can’t get out of work in time for class, aren’t flexible enough, are too fat to take a yoga class, can’t let anyone see your ugly feet……blah, blah, blah. Tell your ego to take a hike for an hour!
Written by Sharon Fennimore, an Integrated Health Coach, yoga instructor and doula based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Find out more about Sharon and her global services by clicking HERE. If you want to learn more and receive updates and free wellness resources, sign up for Sharon’s newsletter by clicking HERE. Do you need a good laugh RIGHT NOW? Check out this website for hilarious videos and content. Do you wish you had a fabulous website? Then you need to work with Kenneth Feldman. Seriously. He’s the best.