“You think you’re a mountain, but you’re a sleepy camel.” Osho
My own personal Yoga practice this Sunday morning was on the Camel Posture – I’m re-working a workshop on this posture which is about power and energy, and creating space for personal inner power. I use the Osho quote “You think you’re a mountain . . .” in the workshop teaching. It makes such a good introduction to practice in Contemplation.
Especially if you’re emerging from negative emotions like guilt affecting you and moving into a healing phase in your life.
This is my direction at the moment, teaching the sweet, gentle path to healing from guilt-residue as I write the companion to Daddy’s Girl’s Guilty as Hell my book on Catholic Guilt and its affects on women’s lives. I’m working at the more Universal experience of guilt and hopefully offering transformation from the awfully lonely legacy that guilt is for a human being using Yoga as the process?
Emerging is the word I use for the step in the healing process just after awakening when you’ve woken up and you see the light.
As Sivananda said: “consciousness is hidden in their memories . . .” So, maybe this is like the light at the end of a tunnel. But you’ve been in darkness – any place in your life that has not been healthy for you because of guilt – and now you emerge into the daylight. You may be shell-shocked and bruised and now you need a little time to adjust to the change. You need a bit of space to determine your surroundings, this is new open terrain.
It’s natural to be cautious and to take stock when you’ve been stuck in your life and affected by guilt, whether from trans-generational religious or spiritual tensions, and especially if your wake-up call came after a disaster. But we don’t stay too long in this place as now is the time to keep moving forward along the healing path. Even moving slowly is better than not moving at all!
This can take some courage, and support. There is much on offer. There are many good people out there supporting you.
So, here is a practice in Contemplation for this Emerging stage. You can use visualisation or journaling or both.
This is how I teach it: Sit quietly, paying attention to your breath for a moment or so, bringing yourself to stillness and silence. Centre yourself by breathing from the solar plexus, the centre.
“You think you are a Mountain, but you really are a sleepy Camel“. Visualise this. Where is the Mountain, where is the Camel? Under the hump, where has the Camel’s body been buried all this time? As the sleepy Camel wakes up, what does s/he see? What burdens and baggage have you been carrying in your hump for others – you can start your journaling with this awareness.
Then make lists under these headings:
— Emotional Wellbeing — Physical Wellbeing — Mental Wellbeing — Sexual Wellbeing — Financial Wellbeing — Spiritual Wellbeing.
In your first effort at Emerging, it’s probably enough just to set the scene as I have described it. Contemplation is effective as a weekly practice so set time aside to continue this on a regular basis.
Your next session could take you deeper into awareness of what has made you feel most dull, bored, unhappy, tired, sick and lacking in energy. Followed by awareness of what gives you most joy, happiness, health, interest, enthusiasm, dynamic energy. As you register your inner emotional state, so you are giving yourself an inner register of what blocks and what frees you. In Yoga, this is checking into you inner bahava or mood, discovering sukha or your inner contentment.
As soon as you understand this stage of awareness, you’re already onto the healing path. I will call it the Path of The Heart – emerging and healing from guilt or any negative emotions in your life.
A final word from the heart of a teacher: don’t forget to breathe consciously every day, be present maybe by noticing how the sunlight and the dew alter the colours of nature. Wash up, tidy up, keep a regular routine. Be with good people!
Namaste, this is for your healing.
Susan Ni Rahilly has reached an interesting point in her life now that she’s in her mid-sixties: as an author/publisher and Zen, Yoga and Meditation teacher she considers herself “trans-genre”—a multi-dimensional teacher inspired by Ancient roots of both Zen and Yoga. These roots reach back to Divine Feminine practices and inspire her ongoing research into our innate abilities for deep listening and intuitive practice: awakening and accelerating our Spiritual Vision as change-agents for Humanity’s future. She is also the Spoken Word Artist SuZen.