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Good morning!  Welcome to the DKos Sangha weekly open thread.

This is an open thread for members of the DKos Sangha and others who are interested in discussions concerning how we integrate our progressive political activism into our spiritual practice.  If you have observations about the political discourse of the week, or about practice, or about anything else related to walking a spiritual path through the political world, if you wish to share, or if you seek support, or if you simply want to say hello, please do; this space is for you.

If you would like to write a diary for the DKos Sangha, please let me know.

If you care nothing for spiritual practice and only wish to denigrate and disparage, please do so elsewhere, and respect that this is a community diary for the DKos Sangha.

As the sun rises above the eastern ridge behind the house, its light spreads slowly down the western ridge outside my window.  The trees between the house and the ridge are in silhouette against the sunlit and still shaded halves of the ridge, and against the cloudless blue sky above it.  All is still, save for the movement of a few small birds amongst the branches.

Dark and light, yin and yang; stillness and movement, night and day, cold and warmth, winter and summer.  The body too has cycles.  Asleep and awake, cold and warm, resting and active, sick and healthy.

As progressives, one of the things that we tend to focus on is generally termed the environment.  Our government has an environmental protection agency.  We want to take care to preserve our natural world that it might continue to sustain us and future generations.  And those of us who see the importance of protecting our environment, tend to pay attention to this natural world, our earth; we feel a connectedness.  Where clear cutting and mountain top removal have scarred our earth, we want to plant trees and do the work of healing our earth.

Our bodies are a manifestation of this earth.  Their cycles and rhythms are connected.  And as we wish to maintain and preserve this earth, so too should we work to maintain and preserve our bodies.

On those days where you just don't feel like doing anything, there may not necessarily be anything "wrong" with you.  The body goes through cycles; and as we start to pay attention, this becomes more evident to us.  There are days when we can get a lot done, and days when we just don't get as much done.  There is nothing necessarily wrong with this; it is quite often that we are moving through cycles.

There is a natural balance around which these cycles, the play of yin and yang, move.  We are not the same every day.  Our culture tends to impress upon us some standard in which we are expected to be the same every day.  Our jobs often expect us to perform the same every day, at the same times, at the same energy levels.  This is unnatural.  Such rigid schedules do not reflect the natural cycles of the body and earth.

Often, we can't change our work situations; but knowing, feeling, the cycles of the body, knowing that they are natural, being aware of how the body is feeling, can help relieve a lot of the stress that can come when we are seemingly not meeting expectations.  We don't need to beat ourselves up because we're not being as productive today as we were yesterday.

When you are sitting on the cushion, or lying on the yoga mat, bring your attention to the body.  Without judgement or commentary, just notice.  You might want to start at the toes, or just the big toe, and slowly move up the body, just noticing.  Notice any tension, tightness, soreness.

On an inhalation, breath into that part of the body where you are noticing tension, bringing healing energy to that area.  On the exhalation, let the movement of energy release the tension.  Do this several times on the area where there is tension.

Again, no judgement or commentary; just mindful attention, and breathing.

Energy moves throughout the body.  When it gets bound up, this movement is restricted; and when the natural balance of energy flow is restricted, we are more susceptible to disease and illness.

We sit outside, letting thoughts fall away, observing the movement of the natural world, the birds, the clouds, hearing the sound of the wind through the trees, feeling the warmth of the sun on our skin.  We can also observe the movement of the natural world within us; noticing the movement within as we breath in and out, noticing the heart beat, feeling the sensations of the body.  These outer and inner worlds are one; they are all the same space; all of this is happening within our awareness.  There is no separation between us and this space within which everything arises.

This culture within which we live can give the impression that our bodies are just things that we have like clothes and cars, and that this earth is something that we have and use as we wish.  But when we pay attention, this body and this earth are not separate from us, they are not things we adorn ourselves with or use for our pleasure.  We are intimately connected with this body and this earth.  All of this is who we are.


Enjoy your day!

7:13 AM PT: Whoops; I forgot to include the reminder for our Monday night group meditation.

Watch for Ooooh's Monday night group meditation diary at 7:00 Eastern; the meditation period will run from 7:30 - 10:00.  This group sitting is open to beginners and advanced, and is not restricted to any particular traditions or practices.  It is not expected that you sit for the entire period; sit for as long as you like, when you like.  The idea is that we are here together; supporting each other, holding space for each other.

Originally posted to DKos Sangha on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 07:08 AM PST.

Also republished by Street Prophets .

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