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Mind vs Spirit

July 28, 2011

Originally posted Friday, September 19, 2008

My yogi brought up the mind/spirit connection the other day in class. The mind/body connection has been a more discussed and contemplated topic, but I found the mind/spirit discussion to be fascinating. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it.


In yoga, as in life, our minds very often control our bodies. Yoga is one of many practices where we push the body beyond what the mind thinks it can do, and through this expansion of body, an expansion of mind occurs. The conflict between mind and body is thus resolved. For that moment, anyway. The next day we start over, perhaps from a new place, perhaps not. And so it goes, until we die, or achieve enlightenment. Whichever comes first.


Mind and spirit – what’s the difference and how are they in conflict? Well, my spirit tells me that we are all one. I am you and you are me and everything is everything. But my mind, well my mind tells me that Sarah Palin is an alien from the planet Conservaton where they have daily sacrifices of women and their futures. My mind tells me that she and I have no commonality, no shared space.


My spirit tells me that we are all unique and beautiful snowflakes. My mind, on the other hand, tells me that most people in this country are automatons, conditioned to behave and respond in ways that are acceptable to the seething mass of humanity who decides these things.
My spirit tells me, Judge not, Before you judge yourself. Judge not, If you’re not ready for judgement. Woah oh oh! (Yes, my spirit occasionally comes through in the voice of Bob Marley) My mind says, look at all this fuckery. What the fuck is the matter with all these crazy fucks. Fuckery!


My spirit tells me it’s perfectly acceptable to dance to the soundtrack of my mind while in the canned goods aisle of the grocery store. My mind tells me that the automatons will laugh and judge. (My spirit usually wins out on this one, as many a lucky resident of this fare city has been fortunate to observe. )


My spirit tells me to create. My mind says I have no talent. My spirit says to love unconditionally, my mind tells me I’ll get hurt. My spirit says to forgive unconditionally, my mind says they’ll only do it again.


Thing is, I don’t want to bring my mind to where my spirit is, exactly. I’d like it to head in that direction, sure, but I’m more interested in a meeting of the two. My spirit is awfully optimistic and somewhat aloof. If my spirit were a physical person it would wear hippie skirts and stink of patchouli. My mind is too grounded in reality. If it were a physical person it would be Woody Allen.


How to achieve the balance between being able to see the world as it is, while still being able to envision the world as it could be and then act on this vision?


Seriously, I’m asking. How?
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