Andrew Hodges
Category: Yoga

Mind The Gap

Do you feel as if you're permanently on the brink of what feels a bit like a precipice? Do you sometimes feel as if you're teetering on edge of something almost unimaginably terrible?  And it's all more than a bit scary?


Well, if you are (right now) or have (quite recently) then I don't think you're alone.  There has been so much in the news about potentially critical events that could occur (are occurring or have already occurred) on the planet that it's hard not to be a little paranoid and more than a bit scarred.  There are so  many catastrophic images that you might bring to mind and I am quite sure you have ones that you regularly revisit.  


Whatever they are, they seem to invoke an image of sudden and quite uncontrolled chaos of such magnitude that we have no means of reining them in.  It's often very easy to see ourselves being thrown about by this whirlpool of disaster. And, as we do so, we start to feel as if there's nothing in the way of our avoiding the awful consequences.


When I get into this pattern (and I sometimes do just like everybody else) I remember Pooh Bear and the Honey Jar.  (Oh, what is he talking about? And where is he going to take this?)


Those of you who have read Pooh Bear will know that bears like Pooh like honey.  They like it a lot.  However those of you who have read the Tao of Pooh will remember that Pooh has identified a special moment just before he puts the Honey Jar to his Lips. This is a space between the reality of the event and the anticipation of the event. Pooh Bear doesn't know what this space is called but he knows it's important to notice it.  


The feelings you get before something happens are different from the ones you feel when it's actually happening.  So this means that if you are just about to achieve an important goal in life there is a big difference between the nervous anticipation of the goal being achieved and the reality of its achievement. I have often felt that there should have been a symphony orchestra playing rousing music at some points of success in my life. (But, strangely, there never has.)


With potential (imaginary) cliff edges it's important to realise that you can't actually fall down them.  Of course if you do then it probably was a real one and you'll probably be dead.  (Which is a bit sad, but it only happens once in your life.)   But most of the time you can't actually fall down one of these even though they seem very real.  It often seems though as if they are real so we can act is if we should be taking some kind of avoiding action (like running away, or pretending there's nothing there).


Are you in Pooh's gap or are you truly tasting the honey?  Are defending yourself from the future or just appreciating what is (right now)? What are you responding to? An imaginary cliff edge or reality? Do you need to check where you truly are?

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