Jennifer Warren

Chillin’ at the Zendo, by Jennifer Warren

TENDING THE TEMPLE

Greetings sentient beings! As some of you may be aware, in my last post I talked about the sudden cessation of my anger a few years ago. As a continuation of that theme I would like to share that since taking up yoga and meditation two years ago some physical changes have manifested on me as well.

Recently, I was standing in line waiting to get into one of my groups when the woman in front of me turned and stole a glance in my direction (no biggie, right). A few seconds later she did it again (ok, whatever). Finally, she turned all the way around and looked me up and down (getting a little nervous now). Just as I was beginning to wonder if I was going to have problems with this woman she smiled sheepishly and explained that she was trying to figure out whether or not I was an inmate. Surely, the deciding factor was the fact that I was wearing state issue pants.This was not actually the first time I have been mistaken for a volunteer. Something similar happened to me in 2018.

I also had an interesting interaction with my councillor. I should point out that the word “councillor” is a bit of a misnomer here, as for most it conjures images of a sympathetic entity who will listen to your problems and guide you gently towards a solution. In reality, this is the person who will quiz you about your disciplinaries, decide whether or not you may stay at your job or inform you that you are about to be transferred to another institution. Anyway, the last time I saw mine she told me that I don’t look much like my picture. When I replied that none of us here really looks like her picture she explained that I looked quite a bit younger.

ANCIENT SOUTH EAST ASIAN SECRET?

I wonder, should I take these incidents (as well as the fact that I have lost several pounds and have been taken off blood pressure medication) as evidence of the miraculous powers of yoga and mindfulness? If that is the case, can we all expect such results? Will these practices clear up our skin as well as our souls*? Is the path out of suffering that Buddhists always talk about temporal as well as spiritual?

If nothing else, my story seems to indicate that the mind-body connection that so many synergists and crystal-weilding healers and other Aquarians are pushing on us may actually exist. Of course, I will be the first to point out that my story is only one of many, a case study as it were, and case studies are not very scientific. (In defence of the case study, some eastern practices such as mindfulness are unpredictable and not reproducable, and thus not very lab friendly). All I can say all I can promise is that mine is as unbiased and faithful a retelling as my brain can muster. In other words, it is something approximating the truth.

I know this is a lot to chew on, but I’m curious. If stress to the mind and body produces disease of the body, is the opposite true? Can we assume that being nice to the mind and body will produce physical health and vitality, even to the piint of altering our appearance and reversing aging? Would live to hear your stories and opinions, yay or nay, shouldyoy care to share them.

Before I sign off for today I would like to share something I reward a while back. It goes a little Luke this :

Cloudy skies should only trouble you if you forget that you are the sun:-)

Namaste’ from the Zendo

Jennifer Warren
DOC #WF1092

*Note: Buddhists do not believe in the existence of the soul, although they do believe in an energy that survives the death of the body. To my mind this is a po-tay-to po-tah-to kind of distinction, which I mat elaborate on in a future post about the differences between yoga and Buddhism.

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