One of the key metaphors of our Path of Freedom training is to “hold your seat.” This teaching about maintaining calm and poise through life’s ups and downs, comes from Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche’s application of horse-back riding principles to meditation and everyday life.
We are fortunate that the current cohort of POF students includes Craig Stevens, head of the National School of Academic Equitation. His comments about horse-back riding add additional depth:
“The three stages for the seat are:
1) Envelope: make as many contacts and physical connections as you can with the horse’s body (and mind). This is empathy and compassion rolled into one.
2) Follow, relax, allow your body to harmonize with the horse’s movements so as to not create a feeling of separation or blocking. Do not try to impose control on the horse.
3). Stretching is in an opening of the rider’s body to the link which occurs without grasping (too tight) or abadonment (too loose). The horse’s movement opens the range of the rider’s ability to move. Once the rider is mentally and physically supple enough, the stretch is how influence/control is effected without losing harmony or interfering with the horse’s body.
The essence from our side as facilitators is to allow without fear the circulation of psychic energy around a common center of our mutual basic goodness.”
Wow, this is so much like life indeed! How often do I try to impose my will on a situation when it would be better for all involved for me to tune in and flow?