Sunday, August 9, 2009

Why pretend you are lame?

Deep in the woods there lived a fox with no front legs. A man living nearby saw the fox and wondered how it was able to survive. Then one day while watching the fox, the man saw a tiger approach with fresh game in its mouth. Lying on the ground the tiger ate his fill and left the rest for the fox.

The next day the fox was fed by the same tiger. The man began to think, "If this fox is taken care of in this mysterious way , its food sent by some unseen Higher Power, why don't I just rest in a corner and have my meals provided for me?"

Having great faith, each day the man waited patiently for his food. Nothing happened. He kept losing weight and strength until he was nearly a skeleton. Then he heard a Voice that said, "You have mistaken the way, see now the Truth. You have both your arms and legs and should have followed the example of the tiger instead of the disabled fox."

The mistake the man made was waiting too long for something to be done for him. He acted as if he was disabled. He only saw one side of the picture. The fox was receiving but the tiger was giving. How often do we see only the thing we want to see that will benefit us? Do we stubbornly cling to an idea even when we are receiving messages that we need to change our course of action? The man was starving but he still did not see that his plan was not working.

In yoga we need to actively participate in each pose. There needs to be a balance of giving and receiving. We open up to grace, to the possibility that we can expand and learn something new with every pose. We give our attention to a strong foundation. to engaging our muscles and hugging inward. Flexibility comes by balancing the inward actions with outward releasing. Pulsing with the energy of our breath and the bigger pulsation of nature brings our pose to life. If something is not working with a pose, if we are not breathing, we need to stop and re-evaluate what we are doing. We can learn lessons from our own practice and from the experience of others.

Learn from the tiger and the fox. There are times when we have the opportunity to give and share. There are times when we need to accept help if we are in need. But to ignore messages that are our plan is not working can be devastating. Use your talents and resources. Don't ignore the gifts you have. Strength balanced with softness, giving balanced with receiving and a mind open to change, will allow us to prosper and experience the fullness of life.

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