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Elizabeth Reninger

Tension, Integrity, Ease

By December 22, 2012

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Sri Yantra

"Seek ye first the kingdom of heaven, and all else shall be added unto you."

Sounds really good, but .... is it true? It's the kind of statement that, of course, can never really be dis-proven -- since if we're not yet experiencing "all else being added unto ourselves," proponents of such a view can always simply reply with: "Well, that's because you haven't truly 'sought ye first the kingdom of heaven', i.e. your surrender is not yet complete."

Anyway, I currently find myself toggling back and forth between, on the one hand, the kind of "direct path" approach of spiritual unfolding implied by the "seek ye first" passage; and, on the other hand, a more incremental yogic path -- whose potential downfall is a slippery-slope slide into incessant micro-managing (of body, mind, subtle realms, whatever).

Which mostly feels fine (the toggling back and forth, that is) though there are some points at which the two approaches would seem to be hopelessly at odds -- for instance in relation to relaxation. A direct-path take on relaxation tends to highlight the absolute naturalness of a peaceful, relaxed state: it's who we are, essentially, so no need to "do anything" to accomplish it; simply surrender, receive .... and a deeply-relaxed and peaceful bodymind will, of its own accord, manifest.

A yogic-path understanding of relaxation, on the other hand, tends to emphasize the importance of creating intelligent relative-world alignments (of body, mind, energy) which then, as a result, allow for ease-full movements and a naturally alert restfulness. Both martial arts and feng shui are based upon such principles. Eventually, such a relaxed way of being becomes, shall we say, "second nature" -- but only after the requisite training, during which we both learn efficient movement strategies, and un-learn habitual unconscious holding patterns.

As Khaled Callen reminds us, in his essay on Integrity Of Movement:

"The whole point of being so concerned with the little details was that if you do a movement very precisely, there will be no wasted energy, so you don't have to be muscle-bound to move a lot of weight."

In other words, truly relaxed, ease-full and powerfully efficient movement is the outcome of intelligent alignment and proper technique. Just because it looks "effortless" doesn't mean that considerable effort has not, along the way, been invested in manifesting such a way-of-being. Or at least, that's the yogic-path way of seeing things.

Anyway, I have no resolution to this dilemma to offer .... though if you do, I would be most grateful :)

I have, however, been thinking a lot about geodesic domes (triangles within a sphere, on a frame the total strength of which increases in logarithmic ratio to its size) as an architectural example of intelligent tension that allows for great ease and strength, simultaneously; and which -- at least theoretically -- has no limiting dimensions (i.e. beyond which its structural strength must be insufficient). In other words: the possibility of infinite spherical spaciousness, cradled within a geometrically perfect form (or vice versa, if we consider the True Hand of creation). Very cool!

Architect/engineer Buckminster Fuller -- who, along with being the inventor of the geodesic dome, was also a philosopher and a poet -- believed that "tension is the great integrity." He also, however, fully acknowledged that "ninety-nine percent of who you are is invisible and untouchable" and (taking the quantum leap from engineer to mystic) that "love is metaphysical gravity."

Therefore ..... ?

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