We started off the class this week with some very interesting (and ancient – over 8,000 years old) exercises derived from Tibet. The movements are intended to work with energy, and involve some serious focus and discipline. They are known as Lu jong.
It was a surprise to me to see the guys actually willing to participate in them – talk about putting ourselves in a vulnerable place. While most seemed to earnestly engage with them, all at least gave some effort. It was great, there was a lot of laughter, some sweating and a whole lot of joy. If nothing else, David brought that to the class that evening.
But that wasn’t all that was brought.
It was such a rich class. There was quite a bit of discussion around how practice has served each of them. David asked “How have you changed since you first began to meditate?” Hands shot up before we could get them in order, and it bloomed a great deal of discussion. Like usual, the answers could end up in some philosophy book years from now…
It’s quite uplifting of an experience actually.
The other day I was speaking to someone I know about doing work in prisons, and found myself saying how I always seem to leave feeling more uplifted – which was of course to his surprise. “Prisons?” he looked at me questioningly with a raised eye brow and a slight up-curl of his lip. “Yes, actually. Prisons.”
The statement kind of came out of nowhere, and it took some reflecting to really get my own answer…but I finally did.
Why else would we engage in this work if it didn’t somehow seem to have meaning for us?
Sure, we might not feel uplifted in the same way that we do after we do yoga, or after completing a half marathon, or even sitting in mediation for an extended period of time, but this work really works itself into my heart.
For me, this week anyway, the meaning was about seeing the humanity of in those in khaki clothes. It was about hearing our laughter combine and for a moment just being – there were no judgements about what crimes they may or may not have committed. I was simply seeing their smiles and watching their practice flourishing. It was those 45 moments of sitting in a cinder block room with 15 others, and finding stillness and calm, together, that brought me a feeling of up-liftedness.
It’s quite precious actually…and comes highly recommended.
Thanks for reading!
Until next time,