This Press of Time
Posted by: Leili Learning Life
For the workaholic, Friday is bittersweet. Friday marks the end of many days of effort. A relief, and yet as it approaches, Friday can signal that there is never quite enough time to get it all done.
You may have heard the quote from Gandhi that goes, “I have so much to accomplish today that I must meditate for two hours instead of one.” And so today, I broke away from my desk in spite of Friday’s looming deadlines to dedicate my lunch hour to his sage words.
Enjoying the January sunshine, I walked two blocks down to Beers Books. I must say, being in the company of used books is a comfort. (The store cat clearly agrees.) Also, there’s something to learn about people in a bookstore — some insight through observing them in that particular moment, cataloged by Classics, and Cookbooks, and Mysteries, and History.
I immediately shelved myself in Poetry, intending to meditate upon crafted words of rhyme, color, texture. Selecting a book of poems has always been a funny thing for me. A book is such a treasure — how can I thumb through its pages and know how its words will speak to me? In the end, I chose A Year with Rilke.
In the book, this poem was selected for August 25. I read it during tonight’s Candlelight Yin class.
This Press of Time
We set the pace.
But this press of time—
take it as a little thing next to what endures.
All this hurrying
soon will be over.
Only when we tarry
do we touch the holy.
Young ones, don’t waste your courage
racing so fast,
flying so high.
See how all things are at rest—
darkness and morning light,
blossom and book.
- Rainer Maria Rilke
If you would like to invite stillness and rest into your body, here is part of the class sequence that you can do at home. Get a tennis ball if you can, and have a couple of pillows handy. This is a Yin-style yoga sequence.
- On the back, knees to chest. Rock from side to side, widening out.
- In constructive rest, notice areas of holding. Can you rest into the back?
- Back massage with tennis ball: Place the tennis ball under an area of tension in the upper back or shoulder area. Roll around and sink in for as long as would feel good. Explore on the other side, too.
- Come back to constructive rest. Notice if the back might rest more completely, and if the heart feels more open now.
- Take child’s pose with wide knees. Option to rest the belly and chest on a pillow. Softly expand the breath behind the heart.
- Come to seated butterfly pose, pillows under knees for support. Option to fold/round forward. Stay for 3-5 minutes.
- Seated straddle. Option to fold/round. Stay fo 3-5 minutes.
- On the belly for sphinx. Again, feel the breath behind the heart.
- Twist of your choice.