the topic of the day was suffering.
well, we're alive, neh? which means the topic of most days is suffering.
let me clarify, the topic of the day was the acceptance of suffering.
Kino talked about tapas as accepting suffering that leads toward purification. Most of us down here in my little Miami family are facing our suffering a little more directly than usual. Accepting the pain that comes with the intermediate series as purification. Accepting that facing that pain is the point of the second series. Maybe (probably) there is some emotional pain. Maybe (definitely) there is some physical pain.
I have been at a place with my practice lately where there has not been a lot of pain. physical or emotional. not to say intermediate hasn't caused suffering in the past, change is hard, getting your leg behind your head is hard. but lately things haven't been so bad. Even this week, getting cranked and having the bar for performance raised, hasn't been so painful.
and that's where life comes in.
Life has been painful lately. the day to day survival, one breath to the next, waking up and moving forward in existence.
In the midst of asana talk of suffering, in the midst of the talk of accepting pain and not moving toward attachment or aversion, Kino says, "you need to get your heart broken."
and well, lucky me, I have recently had my heart broken.
and you know what? that shit sucks.
my heart was shattered so completely that there was no avoiding it. there was no turning away from it or distracting myself from it. the only option was sitting (or lying or walking or driving) and feeling it. to take time to surrender to the pain and let it wash over me. to take time to breathe into the pain and observe my body continuing to perform necessary activities.
I said at one point that the best part of my day was somewhere between kapotasana and shoulderstand because I had no space in my head for anything but the practice. the pain of my heartbreak didn't exist during that 45 minute window.
Somewhere in the balance of my karma, the universe decided that I didn't need pain in my practice. In fact, my practice became the strongest it has ever been. I faced the pain my life and faced the lessons that I could see to learn from having my heart broken. and now that my heart is piecing itself back together, proving itself more resilient than I would have imagined, I am a bit worried.
If life is suffering, then I'm not feeling it a lot at the moment. But then again, karandavasana and tick tocks await me in the morning, so I bet I'll find some suffering soon.