Prominent Buddhist teacher and yogi Michael Stone left behind a legacy of of writings that continue to inform and inspire. The World Comes to You (2019) is a collection of Michael Stone’s writings from decades of his own practice – meditation, yoga, and life experience. As Carina Stone offers in the introduction that, “this is a small book. It is meant to be a friend on your path, in your practice (whatever your practice is). It is meant to encourage you….each chapter is like a bead on a mala, each nugget a teaching to digest and take along on your journey.”
What I have done is to “randomly” flip open to a page and read the passage that presents itself. So much I can relate to, like an old friend who meant well. We’ve all been there – “the difficulties in our lives tend to make us self-centered. It’s my pain, my worry, my distress. In these states our minds tend to ruminate on the past (If only I had …) or project into the future (rehearsals, planning).”
Haven’t you too been there? Sitting in the centre of your pain, your crisis, your crossroads?
Sometimes that’s when we crack open and start a practice. Perhaps not the easiest time to begin one. Whether it is sitting in meditation, using a HeartMath tool, or doing Jin Shin Jyutsu Self Help. It is what it is. It is perfect. We all get to where we need to go, when we get there. The more we return to the centre, the more we come back to our practice, the more our ego becomes porous as Michael Stone writes. The more attentive we become to ourselves, the more sensitive.
When you sit down, drop your sit bones, give the earth your weight, and let your legs feel the floor beneath you. The ground is always quiet. Then you can start finding your breath, giving attention to the inhale and the exhale.
In the chapter Mudding Water, Michael Stone reminds us that “in sitting practice, there’s often identification with what’s being stirred up, and that identification obscures our natural ease, the natural unity of mind and body and heart.” We may feel fatigued by what’s going on in life,”but energy is always available to us when we release into being present, serving what needs to be served. Deep down, this can e what makes us most happy.”
At the end of the day, it is just us. Going back to the breath helps us be present with what it is. Because “to become more intimate with present experience is to fall in love with life.”