Friday, January 29, 2010

Because trees sway.

Today Lily showed me how to meditate. We often play yoga. I am always the student, Lily the teacher.

Lily meditates in Tree pose. I asked her why. She said because Tree gives her "proper balance."

When I teach Tree pose, I always quote Erich Schiffman, a master teacher. Schiffman says it is okay to sway in Tree pose, because trees sway. My intention has always been to give my students permission to be imperfect. They can feel free to fall in and out of Tree pose, as long as their intention is to be balanced. I also invite them to take the balance they find in Tree to their lives off the yoga mat.

When I teach meditation, the class sits quietly with crossed legs on the floor. I guide my students to focus on their breath or to focus on a sacred word. I've never taken meditation off floor and into Tree, because Trees sway. Swaying was a distraction.

Trees do sway. So do people. We have to find flexibility in all things, even in meditation. Our minds will wander. Our legs will cramp. Our chins will itch.

Meditation has so many gifts-it makes us pause, it forces a stoppage--a strike, a walk-out against the oppressive thoughts swirling in our mind. It draws us closer to God--He is waiting for us to listen. And it balances us and makes us more us. When we pause and meditate, our truest selves emerge and we can re-enter the mad, mad world with a sense of truth. We are balanced. The good sits with the bad. The still sits with the frantic. We are at our very root, true.

It does not matter HOW we meditate. We can meditate in lotus. We can meditate while we mop the floor. We can meditate while walking the dog. We can "sit" quietly in Tree pose. We can find stillness in movement, because Trees sway--but Trees do not topple. Trees remain rooted.

This week, I plan to take my teachers advice. Instead of sitting, I'll stand and see what is waiting for me.


  1. How did you know that I needed to hear all this today???? Thank you for being an inspiration for me!

  2. i love the "tree sway" comment.

    it encapsulates positive and preparedness towards most events in life