Monday, August 11, 2014

A Really Tall Hollyhock

A 12-foot tall hollyhock is growing just outside my back door. And the miracle, to me, is that it's standing straight; it's not falling over. It has reached past the rooftop, headed for the sky. When i see it, i want to stand up straighter myself.

An erect posture is important for our meditation, whether we are standing or sitting. Since we, in our society, are accustomed to slouching--on the sofa, in an easy chair, even in our cars--we often don't have the back muscles to support an erect posture, which actually enables the rest of the body to relax. Think of the spine and shoulder blades as the hanger on which the flesh of the body rests.

Do a quick body scan, even while you are reading this, and notice where tiny tensions reside in your face, neck, shoulders, hands, back, gut, thighs, feet.

Now relax. Settle in. As your crown heads toward the sky, and your sitz-bones settle down toward the earth, relax.
Relax; don't collapse.
We maintain an alertness of posture and, thereby, an alertness of mind.
Feel the tranquility, the calmness, which is different than sleepiness, different from laziness, different than torpor.

Be inspired by a tall, really tall, hollyhock.

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