A Parable of Unmaking

Mar 14th, 2016

Once upon a time, a body of wisdom made of bones and sinew traveled to the West. The gurus took flight to embody a yoga mission. They dreamt it would mesmerize and transform people in the new land. A bold wisdom drove their work, and they hoped to awaken the masses. They went out on eight-limbs and were certain of their vocation and calling.

But the gurus were overwhelmed by neon lights and a restless, infant culture. They misplaced their prayer beads and lost their way. The movement rose up, it shape-shifted, and the gurus wondered what had happened.
The people were fueled by energy drinks, but ripe with anxiety and unexamined ambition. The land was drunk on money and the illusion of freedom fired their imaginations. The ‘eight limbs’ twisted in the wind of post-modernism and creative chaos.

In time, yoga prospered and many realized the teachers brought good medicine. It seemed to help prisoners, alcoholics, those suffering pain and even angry youth. But some feared its power – especially its counsel to sit alone in silence.

In the counsel of quiet, someone offered the medicine of movement and said diversity is a source for creativity and road to enlightenment. The voice whispered of the illusions in misdirected ambition, in Theo-drama, and in the construction of culture and its false prophecies of comfort through technology and convenience.

Then someone at the ashram read a passage from Shelly, and a guru wept:
Life, like a dome of many-colored glass
Stains the white radiance of eternity.

The gurus didn’t understand what had happened to their movement, and while nobody claimed credit, people awoke to radiance within. Westlanders didn’t want gurus. They didn’t read books. But they went to their mats and a world opened like the many petals of the lotus in a soft rain, and light from the crown of their heads went out to eternity.

A Poem of Unmaking

This deep extend
Soles of our feet grasping to hold.
Regrets fade with each exhale
And the mat frames
The injuries we unmake.

–Gregory Ormson

Asana Journal

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