My copy of Diggers Garden Club catalogue for Spring planting arrived in the post today. I will drool a little, then calm down and choose carefully as planting space is at a premuim. I do have a seedling Gingko biloba tree sheltered through our frosts. Memo to self: time to prepare the site with compost! And do more sneaky guerrilla gardening in our local reserve!
ABC TV urged us all to vote for Australia's favourite tree, and after some thought I voted for Eucalyptus regnans, tall majestic Mountain Ash. A drive through forrests in the cool mountainous parts of Victoria brings back memories of being in an ancient Gothic cathedral. Uplifting, overwhelming grandeur, beauty and stillness - all in a forest. And according to Wikiepedia,' Mature forests dominated by E. regnans have been found to store more carbon than any other forest known'. Allround wonder of Nature!
It takes time to realize the depth of asana practice. Years sometimes...
Just like growing a tree.
When we start, it's just scratching the surface: we place the feet just so, lengthen the spine, turn the head, inhale into the pose, and exhale, release. A conative action that is a direct physical movement achieved after an impulse of the mind. Then we start to feel - in the skin, the ears, eyes, nose and tongue and our joints - all our organs of perception. Instantly the mind links to flesh and the perception of the sense organs and our recollection says 'What is this that I feel now which I did not feel before?' The bridge to the the intellect lights up. Every part of us participates in self-study. The innerself contemplates and observes and learns, and we have reached the highest state of reflection in the asana.
It becomes a spiritual practice, the stage of reflection How does this make me feel?
The Ancient Texts tell us that the body is comprised of three tiers, which themselves are composed of several dimensions. The gross body corresponds to our physical sheath, the solid structure.
The subtle body is made up of the phsiological sheath, the organs and systems, called pranamaya kosa, plus the mental sheath - manomaya kosa, and the intellectual sheath vijnanamaya kosa. We discern and analyse and plan with the mind, and learn, judge and choose with the intellect.
The subtle body is not visible to us, but we certainly experience its effect.
The innermost body, the most subtle dimension on which all the others depend, is known as the causal body, The bliss layer - anandamaya kosa or the innate spiritual dimension of joy.
When all these dimensions come together in harmony, we are one. We are Integrated. A unity of the self in each and every cell, my breath, my spirit, when all the layers and aspects merge together in harmony, A sense that our flow of awareness is not interruped, that we are in unity - our cells, our mind, our spirits as one with all existence.
I still remember 25 years ago, a new electric sensation, a sense of wonder in a long held Trikonasana. I was participating in a class after work in the Blue Room In ANU Sport & Rec. I want more of this Yoga!
'When every cell sings the song of the soul! That is Yoga ."