Stimulus

“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom. This is the gift of Yoga”

Forehead to the mat.
Body contorted in a tandem of discomfort and comfort.
Sweat drips ceaselessly in streams from my body in the heated room.
My mind and heart are in a posture of prayer surrounded by others who are bowed down the same.
We are praying together;
praying our intentions,
praying our stresses away,
praying our release and liberation between the stimulus and response.
I’ve lost faith; I reflect on the possibility that a man I once worshipped, a man who I thought died for me, very well may just have died, and not necessarily for me.
Who do I worship now?
If I’m honest I believe in the power of life.
I believe whatever this unseen force is that animates the cosmos and the world…I believe whatever that is, whatever that spark, vibrancy, and ineffable essence is I believe there is something there…so maybe I worship that…
that force that awakens and connects all…
at least that I can be sure of….
Ancient Jewish narratives, that give a thousand and one names for a God who’s name rightly can’t be spoken because God is just that big… not so much…not any more at least…
The man I once worshipped though, I go his way, of death and resurrection…
Dying to awaken to walk into my own way….the path that seems set before me that I seem inevitably drawn towards…as  I seek to answer my conscience always in honesty and fidelity…
A path that takes me away from this man and into myself…
so with my head bowed to the mat, I breathe through the motions in the movement of my limbs….the limbs of this body, that is animated by the life in and outside myself that I worship…
as that great homily of Lin Manuel Miranda says…
“I am the one thing in life I can control….I an inimitable, I am an original…”
sweat keeps pouring….
heat surrounds me…
I keep breathing and praying with those who surround me….
with each heart beat and breath, I hold on to the life that is mines and those around me, we are one….living this one life in a connected one life while we have life…
maybe in remembering this I can love myself, them, and everyone else…
this special space between the stimulus and response…

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