Self Observation Chapter 3
Your work is to discover your work
and then with all our heart
To give yourself to it.
The first sentence of this chapter was a very powerful one this week to share with the kids-- "The practice of self observation includes the practice of finding yourself, locating yourself in time and space, in the body but not as the body, and then managing the body: this is known as self remembering."
I mean, hello it is a juicy nugget for sure-- and the kids were like, " I know myself, I'm right here- I know myself I'm a badass, I know myself.... etc you get the picture. As we unfolded the sentence and worked it through the boys did something they have never really done before they became really quiet--- I really wanted to inject wisdom into this quietness, but I held back because I realized they were doing just what we read about locating themselves in time and space and managing their body.
Many people don't realize, but the kids in JDC are extremely smart and their persona of anger and rudeness is really just a mask of protection.
As the boys opened they turned to what they know best, their like/dislike mechanism-- facinating because this amazing book talks about this alot. It is called the illusion of separation between myself and an action-- for example, you say something mean to someone and then you beat yourself up for saying something that hurt someone. Blame becomes a vicious cycle of downward spiral. There in lies the nugget, if you identify with like and dislike all the time, you turn on yourself therefore the act of self remembering gets covered up by judgement. When you judge the separation can become strong enough that you prevent yourself from seeing and feeling your behaviour this not taking full responsibility for it. Judgement is like looking through dark glasses-- you can make out the shadow of yourself, just not your true Self.
The next nugget we mined for was what Self Observation calls, the "law of maintenance." What goes unfed weakens and what gets fed grows stronger. In JDC terms become focused so as to not live on auto pilot--- when your attention remains steadfast on the art of self remembering, you don't drop like a rock into the fight or flight mask of protection.
I had the boys settle into meditation, which we have been doing for 5 minutes before savasana over these last weeks of reading this book and gave them the nugget of what settles you? For the first time since we began this practice, the boys actually became quiet and held into stillness for the entire 5 mintues, all of them-- there was no fidgiting, there was no knuckle cracking, there was no laughing or looking around-- they dove into the pool of self rememberance and it was beautiful to be witness too.
Thank you so much to my teacher Karen and her teacher Lee for the opportunity to open the hearts and minds of these kids to this beautiful artform.