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Lions Roar : September 2010
51 SHAMBHALA SUN SEPTEMBER 2010 path that meets the needs of both parties, that is, our body and our mind. The sad truth is that many of us just don’t like our bod- ies the way they are. We keep wishing they were different. Well, guess what? They are different! you used to be two feet tall and crawled everywhere. you used to be able to put your foot in your mouth. Perhaps you used to be thinner. The color of your skin changes depending on how much you expose it to the sun. Has your hair changed color, too? so, you see, our bodies change all the time; it’s just our re- lationship to our bodies that has become locked up tight. My favorite definition of dukkha, attributed to the great yogi Deskichar, is, “sitting alone in a dark, cold room.” it’s about claustrophobia and needless suffering. and that is just what we are doing to ourselves when we sit in medita- tion posture with knee pain and backache, feeling trapped in our body, and mad about it, too. isn’t it interesting that yoga students never say to each other, “i don’t want to be your partner,” or “you are too fat, or too old, or too weak, or too uncoordinated to do On or off the meditation cushion, we can be friends with our body—just the way it is. Yoga teacher Cyndi Lee shows us how to sit with relaxation and ease. CYnDI Lee is the author of yoga Body, Buddha Mind and one of America’s leading teachers at the intersection of yoga and Buddhism. She is the founder of OM yoga center in new York City and teaches retreats and workshops internationally. this pose”? But these are all things we say to ourselves while meditating. This negative thinking habit then be- comes a major element of what we are practicing, from the very beginning of our meditation practice when we first place our seat on the cushion. Maybe you are thinking, “Well, i actually am too old or stiff to ever be comfortable sitting on a cushion.” But what if you took the approach that your body is fine as it is? This powerful mind shift then lays the ground for transforming dukkha into sukha, a sense of space and ease. after my yoga students thank each other and walk back to their own mats, i always ask them the same question: “Can you be as kind Drawings by André Slob PHoToByDaviDBarToloMi