In Yoga tapas is one of the Niyamas, one of the ways we live. It translates as Burning Effort or sometimes just diligence. In investigating the six Paramitas I hear the echo of it in the perfection of Virya. This also is sometimes translated as diligence, but also energy, courage, enthusiasm, and effort. There is at times a element of practice that is just gotten through using nothing but pure, raw tapas.
I had reflected on this idea after reading the phrase, "pure, raw discipline" in The Heart of Being in talking about Zen practice, that it is what gets some people through sitting zazen. Daido Loori Roshi had gone on to note that there must more than just that, there must be something else that draws you to practice in order to both sustain and go deeply into it. That phrase really stuck with me.
Today's teacher training included 3 hours of a core/abdominal (second and third chakra) workshop. I'd felt a little anxious about it since half of my back pain resides in the second chakra and I was still sore from Friday night's practice. It had occurred to me that is what got me through the Jivamukti inspired vinyasa that made everything about my hips, backside and legs ache!
It got me through to the end of the workshop. Towards the end my hips were aching, low-level spasms brought up some of the helplessness I'd felt a couple of weeks ago trying to kick up into adho mukha vrksasana. Tears were springing up in my eyes, smarting at the corners, and I felt demoralized entirely. I finished by doing things to open the hips, relieve them. I recovered a bit eating a snack afterwards, but felt entirely exhausted and was happy to go home.
To news that the hard drive may have given up life (music library!) which is frustrating on a few levels. For a time I just felt taut with raw emotion that I'd just breathed past while relying on raw discipline. AM graciously made dinner so I could go sit zazen for a bit. I wanted to make sure I did it, stop excusing myself from it for any number of reasons. I was exhausted and hurting, but I just sat with it and the emotion. After 25 minutes or so I felt better, quieter in the volume even if I felt the pain intensely yet still.
Tomorrow will be a long day. Teaching my class at the community center, lunch break, then co-teaching a second class at the Dharma Center. I'm going to talk to Hogen tomorrow after that, about my fear and the pain. I know that's what I need to do.
I miss CK, I'm glad she's having a good time. I was very happy she called even though she was tired out. I just miss her and the routine of our life together.
SWEET & TENDER VEGAN CORNMEAL MUFFINS WITH COCONUT & RAISINS (OR OTHER DRIED FRUIT) - A good friend of ours was coming over for coffee this morning, so I wanted to bake something simple but yummy. I've had a hankering for cornbread late...
2 weeks ago