Tigger, Pooh’s friend, once spent a day discovering what Tiggers do best. He tried swimming, and decided that wasn’t it. Then he climbed a tree and as soon as he looked down decided that for sure wasn’t it. As I shared this search with Tigger, I found myself asking what is it us humans do best? I suspect it’s trying to be other than what we are.
Through even a casual attention to the nature of thought, it becomes apparent that thought is continually judging. Liking, disliking, approving, disapproving, accepting, rejecting. And if I think I shouldn’t do this, that is again thought judging itself and I am once more discovering what humans do best. Does this trying to be other than what I am really transform me, or is movement out of myself something different?
I once attended a growth workshop where the leader said, “Everyone wants to be happy. That’s what we’re all looking for.” But is happiness really what we seek, or is it comfort? If it’s happiness, would we put so much energy into maintaining our problems? I may not like my problems, but they are MY problems and I’m used to them. Through the years I’ve become comfortable with their discomfort. If I stopped trying to get rid of them, they might actually resolve themselves and then where would I be? Not knowing that frightens me, so I play at moving out of my comfort zone, playing with the fringes of real movement. I seek pleasure within a vibrational range with which I feel comfortable. I seek pleasure. What I see as pleasure is determined by my conditioning as it lives in the structure of thought and in the tissue of body. Pleasure is not joy. I can seek pleasure and find it. Joy simply is.
Joy is a spark, an energy of newness that lives in the moment. Joy moves me out of myself, out of that part of the universe I am identifying with and calling me. Joy from one instant to the next, one breath to the next dissolves the comfortable boundaries I’ve placed about myself. To be in joy is not to be always happy or pleasured, or fearless, or eternally patient, but to be. For the touch of joy is simply there in every breath, moving me, moving the universe.
I may focus on trying to maintain the boundaries of my comfort zone of conditioning, protecting myself from the movement of living; or I may become less interested in controlling myself through these boundaries, perhaps out of sheer exhaustion (being a fairly stubborn beastie), and let the boundaries dissolve.
Remember building castles on the beach? They had to be close enough to the ocean so the sand was damp, and the best were so close you could dig a moat beyond the walls and water would flow into it. Then as the tide came in and began to reach the outer walls, you frantically repaired them as long as possible and then retreated to the inner walls and finally there would come that moment when a wave washed over the castle itself and released you to play tag or go in for dinner.
Joy is continually washing away the boundaries of self. I may center my living in resisting that spark of joy, that movement beyond the known, or I may become interested in the possibility of allowing. Allowing myself to come undone. Allowing is at the center of living as a yoga, of living as meditation. For attentive yoga is like doing nothing, or allowing nothing to do itself.
“How do you do nothing?” asked Pooh, after he had wondered for a long time.
“Well, it’s when people call out at you just as you’re going off to do it, ‘What are you going to do, Christopher Robin,’ and you say, ‘Oh, nothing,’ and then you go and do it.”
“Oh, I see,” said Pooh.
“This is a nothing sort of thing that we’re doing now.”
“Oh, I see,” said Pooh again.
“It means just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering.”
“Oh!” said Pooh.
(A.A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner)
Allowing myself to see the nature of the conditionings that bind energy within mind and body, allowing myself to catch a glimpse of the me frantically repairing my sand castle walls, that seeing is itself movement, is transformation. And I’m outside the comfort zone of conditioning, beyond control, beyond thought, beyond doing. For the doer has come undone. In moments of enlightenment there is no me who is enlightened, for the me has come undone.
There simply is the moment. In joy.