• Lijing Cobb


Checking back in with my exploration on the subject of Ahimsa, non-violence. Out of the 7 actions I had aimed to take over the course of the first week, I succeeded in 4, decided to abandon 1, tried 1 throughout most of the week, and put the last one on the back burner for the moment. But, as moments of revelation kept smiling at me, I conclude that I made an honest and sincere effort, because I have been generously rewarded with new insights and courage to face my fears.

Week 2 of this month, Deborah Adele suggests that I guard my balance as I would my most precious resource. Dear readers, if you would like to give it a try with me, here are her wonderful suggestions:

"Don't find your balance from a place in your head of what it should look like. Instead, find guidance from the messages of your body. In this moment do you need more sleep? More exercise? Do you need to eat differently? Do you need to pray? Do you need some variety in your life? Act on the messages of your body and explore what balance looks like for you this week. Notice the effects on your life and on others." (Yamas and Niyamas, P40-41)

In other words, to borrow our Zen master's saying again, when tired, sleep; when hungry, eat.

We often do violence to our own bodies by ignoring the bountiful messages they send us all day long. Right at this moment my stomach is literally growling, but since it is only 5:14am and I had eaten abundantly last night at 8:30pm, I obviously couldn't be hungry and even if I were, I shouldn't eat anyway. You see the violence? My low back is stiff and the left side could use some serious stretch now, but since I'm writing this blog and want to finish it before I move on to the next thing, I'm letting that message sit in the inbox just a little longer. See the violence?

Ok, friends and comrades. I'm proud to say that I just took the last 40 minutes to eat a little snack, drink some hot tea, and move and stretch my body. I feel like a better person.

Throughout the day as the challenges of our day unfold, many times we will find ourselves saying, well even if I wanted to do this right now, I can't possibly do it because, you see! We know that such situations will surely arise, because we've all been there and done that. Despite our best intentions, our day takes on its own course, often times forsaking our agenda and leaving us in grunts of exasperation and sighs of resignation. My thought is not that we fight the day, but that we work with it, honoring our best intentions by being kind to the needs of the moment. Sometimes that means saying yes when we wanted to say no, and other times the opposite.

Like stop writing my blog to eat, drink, and stretch (saying yes when I wanted to say no), which made me feel like a better person.

Like not eating another piece of chocolate because my body doesn't need it anymore (saying no when I want to say yes), which might make me realize just how special some things can be.

Life is perfect just the way it happens. Wouldn't that be a good message to carry with us throughout our day? What if we refuse to be disappointed, and just keep saying yes, whatever comes our way?

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