Thursday, January 27, 2011

Moderating and Transforming Intensity

Bad things happen; bad things can make us feel like sh*t; shitty feelings can be very intense. And you know what? Those feelings can be very, very UNcomfortable.

So what do we do with intense uncomfortable feelings? I meditated about this earlier this week after my mind felt unable to deal with some seemingly unreasonable anger. After meditation and then an intense, forceful asana practice, I came to the conclusion that yoga has an important lesson about this: moderate the intensity to turn the intensity around!

Pushing too hard in asana practice counteracts the surrender that is necessary in some part of the pose. But we can moderate the push that we feel the need to force out into the world. Energy is energy, but energy can move and change. Just as in asana, the flow of energy can support us or work against us; that energy working against us is the same energy that supports us. If we want to transform negative emotional energy, we can sit with it, experience it, and offer ourselves compassion and love. As we offer compassion toward our negativity, we find the power of transforming it. And the more we practice the transformation, we can turn that intense negativity into intense positivity--joy, love, compassion, and kindness. INTENSE joy, love, compassion, and kindness!

It sounds kinda simple and easy, and also kinda ridiculous. Which might be why I like it. I think, "yeah, that makes sense" while simultaneously thinking "that is incredibly impossible." But if you find that you can believe the first half of the statement, even a little, then your mind is open enough for it to work. Practice the transformation of energy on the mat, and find it ripple through your life.

I took that anger and transformed it, flipped it, and experienced some lovingkindness. It wasn't quite as intense as the anger was, but I know I've got more time to keep practicing. Which is a little more positivity.

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