My trip to the United States continues as does all of our trips. Mine is moving through Maine with three generations, very different ways of approaching challenges and opportunities. The spiritual path has been termed the Razor's Edge because the path of authenticity and compassion is such an infinitely fine line. Integrating the concepts of intention and surrender may also be termed the Razor's Edge. On the one hand we have the planning of details based on our best concept of how things will proceed. On the other hand we have the allowing of whatever comes our way.
There is a story of a great yogi who was sitting in meditation having achieved absolute control over his senses to the point where he conquered all his desires. His body was emaciated and skin was like leather after living in the forest for many years practicing intense austerities. In his younger life, he spent years giving in to all of his desires and realizing that path did not bring a lasting peace or happiness. In this moment a boat was passing in a nearby river and a woman was playing a stringed instrument. In that moment the yogi realized, like the stringed instrument, if we are too tight attached to our plans, the simple joy of being will elude us; if we are too loose and without focussed intention we will be forced to endure unnecessary hardships for lack of preparation and grounding. This realization lead the yogi to practice the "middle way" and he eventually became the Buddha.
I have existed on both extremes in fairly dramatic fashion; I have been the Type A "plan and execute" and expect everyone around me to perform at the highest level. I have also been the free flowing individual devoid of intention altogether except to be aware of the breath and the simple presence of life. Neither was sustainable. A regular yoga practice gives us the chance to live on this Edge balancing alignment and force with presence and relaxation.
The path is not easy but the dynamic interplay of planning and allowing comes up again and again so there is no shortage of opportunity to practice your response. I can't wait to be on the Edge with each of you at our next yoga class.