1.7 pratyaksha anumana agamah pramanani
I saw a Tee shirt when I was about 12 that said “Question Everything”. I was already an inquisitive child so I didn’t need a big push to take that statement to heart. I had forgotten about that memory until I was writing just now, but I realize that it was at that age that I fully stopped taking things at face value. Well most things actually. I had to learn to apply that same kind of reasoning to boys and relationships a bit later in life. My relationship with the world around me and particularly my relationship to authority took the greatest shift at this very tender age.
Flashback to 1985; we were getting ready to move towards our confirmation day at Faith United Methodist Church. Our minister, Pastor Bird, was going around the table and asking each child to confirm their belief in God in hopes of helping us make our public declaration of our beliefs and for us to seek the confirmation of stepping into the full responsibility of joining the congregation as an adult. One by one my friends nodded and words of unquestioning belief spilled across their lips. The world seemed to come to a halt when my tiny voice exclaimed, “I don’t believe in the “God” you are selling me”. I can still see the horror on the faces of everyone around me. The silence washed through my bones and I searched for all of the reasons and questions that prompted me to unleash such madness. What was wrong with me that I simply couldn’t accept what everyone else so willingly followed? My Pastor was one of the kindest and most loving souls I have ever met and was the only one who didn’t judge me. He smiled warmly and told me that questioning was healthy and I must follow my own experience and discover the world for myself. He told me to keep up my inquiry but not to simply dismiss what challenges me outright without deep investigation. I think Pastor Bird is really a Yogi.
I crashed hard last evening watching young girl’s race snowboards and chilling speeds. Bodies hurled off of slopes with amazing accuracy and hang time in the air that left me breathless just watching them. Try as I might I couldn’t keep my eyelids open anymore and remember only a warm kiss on my cheek as B turned off the TV. The early bed time worked to my advantage as I was up in time to make coffee and pull Brian out of bed and into the hot tub at the inn to watch the sunrise. Adventures today will keep us in Whitianga.
There is a unique hot spring beach about 20 minutes south of our motel. We went out at the recommended time of low tide to check it out. Hoards of people were gathered on the beach digging little holes in the sand and sitting in shallow, sandy filled gullies. B and I had rented a tiny shovel of our own and waded through the mass of bodies to find our own beach territory. The first hole I dug in the earth still felt like cold water to me. We looked around and saw people on either side of us camped out in their ditches. This could be it I thought. Brian confirmed that this was really silly if all we did was dig a hole in the sand to sit in cold water. We tired another space closer to the main grouping of bodies. Still, this was not what we were expecting.
We listened to several people around claiming the water was warm. Two people were sitting in the first hole that Brian and I began and were convinced they felt the warmth. I could see areas of the beach that seemed to have steam rising from the surface and felt before we threw the idea out completely we needed to investigate further. Bingo! The water under the sand toward the beach front in the middle of the tourist brigade, was not only warm, it was scalding hot! We moved up close to the shoreline so that the cold water of the sea would mix with the intensity of the hot spring. I turned back to see more people sitting in chilled sandy tubs because they decided to go with the flow of the heard digging holes and not look one step further to find the real deal. I mused over the phenomenon.
The sutra today was sitting here in action. 1. Direct experience; find the spot of the hot spring. 2. Reasoning and Deduction: Continuing investigation until the full experience could be achieved. 3. Validation: Many people in the true hot spot had to step out because the temperatures were too great.
Why then did so many people stop when they didn’t really feel it? Why did some people try to convince themselves that they were feeling something? Did they just want so much to be a part of the group that they would go along with the experience of someone else without any direct relationship to their own experience? Why wouldn’t you seek experience instead of mere belief? Why do I always end up with three or more questions for every step I take towards an answer?
Pastor Bird, I thank you wherever you are for encouraging my path of inquiry. I still don’t believe in a God head calling the shots of my life. Instead I feel a call towards something even more amazing. A connection I can’t quite label. Pastor bird used to sing us a song while playing Guitar.
“Have you ever stood at the ocean with the white foam at your feet, felt the endless thundering motion, then I say, you’ve seen Jesus my Lord, you’ve seen Jesus my lord.” Standing at the ocean I feel the white foam and Jesus is nowhere to be found. Instead there is a profound love that I felt as deeply today as I did when I was a child, before adults tried to gum up the works with stories of guilt,sin and dogma.
I can also say from direct experience that tonight’s meal at the Squid was fantastic! All the seafood is local and as fresh as you can get it. There is nothing quite as good as seeing a happy Brian with a full belly.
One last thing before signing off for the evening… The little place we are staying in tonight is run by two little old ladies. I love them! The room reminds me of my great grandmother’s place. There is even one of those toilet paper cozy dolls. My gram used to have those silly plastic dolls with the crochet dresses. Big red and frilly pillows decorate the couch and I feel so at home.
Tomorrow we head to Rotorua where we will spend some time with the history of the people from here.
Boundless Yoga Staff & Students
We are continuously interested on how our reactions and responses to our personal journeys, albeit travel, adventure, new job, etc. mirror and reflect our social, emotional and spiritual ups and downs. We try every day to apply what we learn about ourselves on the yoga mat to our personal lives. Thank you for tuning in as we share some of those aspects with you.