Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Sanity for Humanity

What's your slogan for 2015?  Mine is Sanity for Humanity.  I love a good slogan and keep a small revolving plethora of sticky notes around the house reminding me of them.  They serve the much needed purpose of turning the mind towards what is important.  The mascot for my slogan has yet to reveal itself.  Is it a butterfly, a rainbow, a lioness, a monkey?  Only time will tell.

Actually, perhaps the best mascot for Sanity for Humanity is the human heart.  The helical human heart, which by the way is not a pump but a dam.  Dam the heart.  Yes, this perfect and powerful dam of the human heart shall be the mascot to champion sanity throughout the expanding, multicentric universe. 

To accompany the mascot, I shall add a mudra.  A mudra is a gesture that serves to influence the body, mind and emotions.  The sanity mudra is to place your hand over your heart tenderly and feel its beat at least ten times a day.  And the anthem that you sing to yourself while performing the mudra is the mantra of silence.  

Altogether this is the yoga of sanity and I call it THE BIG HEART PAUSE.  Try it now won't you? 

Stop what your doing. Put a hand over your heart.  Breathe into your deep belly and exhale saying Ahhhh.  Sing the mantra of silence.  And oh yes, the smile.  The smile is the secret handshake of those who are in the know of the slogan of sanity.  Pause, breathe, smile, feel your heart.  

And why not dedicate ourselves to THE BIG HEART PAUSE?  Let's try it for a year and see what happens.  It is free, infinite, requires no special training, and supports inner peace, which after all is world peace, is it not?  

Raise your hand if like world peace.  Raise your other hand if you spend part of each day cultivating inner peace to the best of your ability.  If both your hands are now in the air, give yourself a high five. 

Perhaps sanity will catch on.  We will see each other at stop lights practicing THE BIG HEART PAUSE.  We will smile at each other knowingly when stuck in a long line at the store.  We will touch our hearts and sing silently.  We will look for ways to help one another.   And when world peace dawns, we will know our work is done.  High five for that!

Recently I had the great good fortune to do a private in-home semi-retreat for almost one month!  I emerged from the experience with an overwhelming sense of what it means to lead a sane life.  And how to do it.  It mainly involves slowing down and being present.  As it turns out, life is enough.  When we pay attention to each moment, life becomes the ultimate staycation.  We don't need so much entertainment and distraction.  Sanity blossoms from just being and doing life's simple chores which easily fill up a day.  Eat, sleep, meditate, exercise.  

Because of my injuries, I cannot be in total seclusion as these muscles and bones need the therapy pool and the AlterG and the various other modalities that keep me running at a somewhat mediocre level.  So I devised the semi-retreat which turned out to be a wonderful opportunity to oscillate between being inward and outward and keeping practice mind all day long, to let the bodymindfulness of intense home practice weave its way into worldly activities.  I highly recommend it!

To unplug from the phone, the computer, the logistical maze of trying to meet friends, creates a healing space for presence, compassion, humor, and joy.  Life slows down to a reasonable speed, the brain rests, the body relaxes, and the heart opens, effortlessly.  How lovely to connect with the present moment more often.  When the mind and body are in the same place doing the same thing this is ambrosia for the consciousness.  

I like to add recipes to my posts so here is the recipe for Sanity Ambrosia:

1. Be nobody.

2. Go nowhere.
3. Accomplish nothing.

For those of you wanting to devise a little semi-retreat of your own, get out your Sharpies and your Post-Its.  These are the slogans currently adorning my walls and cupboards:

  • Let the soft animal of your body loves what it loves.
    This is a quote from a Mary Oliver poem.  We are mammals.  It is so easy to forget.  We are not machines hooked to a brain computer center.  Embrace your inner mammal, it is the source of bonding and nurturing and playfulness.  Let the thinking brain rest and the feeling body feel.
  • Come back to the Basic I
    The Basic I is simple and sweet.  It is content and relaxed and confident.  Because it needs little, it has so much to give.  
  • Space is the nature of matter.
    Keep repeating that.  But then stop and just experience it in the space between your own atoms. And if you need a little encouragement, read Bill Bryson's "A Short History of Nearly Everything."  Solidity is an illusion, useful to be sure, but not to be taken too seriously.
  • Inward. Quiet. Content.
    If you're an extrovert, I don't know if this is useful.  For us introverts, it is a permission slip to honor and delight in that part of our being as much as we like. I keep this one on my datebook.
  • Cultivate love no matter what.
    This is the real kicker in terms of slogans and is a quote from Anam Thubten..  Perhaps this is a good time to say that slogans are not whips that we use to beat ourselves into being more holy or spiritual.  Slogans are cheerleaders on the path to enlightenment.  They are reminders and aspirations.  I have this slogan up near my bed and every day my intention is to do it more and more.  And every day I inevitably fail at it a little bit or a lot, and then every day I reset my intention.  Like that.  Cultivate love no matter what. 
I wish you a Happy New Year.  It's always nice to have a fresh start.  May the turning of the solar calendar bring you inner peace and sanity.  If you feel inspired to explore the HeartMind Method as a means to that end, please click on the "Classes" tab.  I look forward to hearing from you.  Love, Tupten

PS...a friend took the lovely photo above.  A recent sunset in Santa Barbara.  

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