Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Determination's Tale- part 3
Everyday for two weeks Natur met Sage in the garden and practiced her breath. Sitting the way, Sage had taught her had become more comfortable, and she could now keep the rhythm with ease. Sage decided that it was time to move her to the next level.
"Young maiden you are at present making progress, and it is time for us to connect this practice to the concept of power. "
When Natur heard this, she began to smile. She took a breath lifted her shoulders and released.
"Sage I was wondering about that, I mean how you can connect breathing to power?"
"Princess most people think of power as the ability to control things and events in the outside world, but true power is being able to control what goes on in you. People look at the breath and take it for granted. It flows so natural that we overlook the effect that it has on our lives."
Natur listened, but she still was unclear.
"What do you mean importance, it just a breath."
Sage then began to smile.
"You see. You overlook the power of the breath because it comes so naturally to you, but try to hold your breath and see how long you can do it. You can go for weeks, without food. You can go days without water, but you will only be able to go a few minutes without a breath."
Natur started smiling back at Sage with a look of understanding.
"Now I see, but what does that have to do with power?"
Sage stretched out a leg and raised his arms above his head.
"Everything young maiden, through our breath, we feed our body and our mind, which gives us the ability to make sound judgements about reality. Our breath is the most direct way that we are able to extract axe' (life energy) from the universe. Our bodies, minds, spirit, and emotions feed on this energy, and when they are denied this energy, we become weak. When you think back over your short life, think about how you feel when people make fun of you."
Natur sat and thought about how she felt when her peers, and the adults around her made negative comments about her hump and her birth.
"It makes me feel sad. I shut it out and go someplace where I can be alone."
Tears began welling up in her eyes, as she remembered some of the mean things that happened to her. Sage took notice of the tears.
"Princess now I want you to use you to close your eyes and put yourself in one of those situations, and I want you to feel what happens. I want you to pay attention to your body first."
Natur closed her eyes and began to access her memories, and she paid attention to her body. She noticed that her breathing became shallow and then her emotions began to gain power. When she opened her eyes, she explained this to Sage. Sage listened intently then even though she was crying he began to smile.
"Old man why are you smiling?"
"I am smiling because my dear you are on the verge of a breakthrough. You noticed that the first step in your personal torment came after you stopped breathing. You described it as "breathing shallow" but you noticed and that is your first step to authentic power. Hopefully this moment in time you can see that your powerlessness in the face of those who torment you is self-generated, and now if you wish you can begin to take your power back."
Natur began wiping the tears from her face.
"Natur if you would like to stop this lesson and continue tomorrow we can."
"No, I would like to continue.'
Sage began to smile.
"Very well, today you will learn the power test. The instructions are simple. You will sit here facing me, close your eyes listening to the cadence of the breath following along. I will stop, and you will continue the count in your mind. I want you to focus on your breath. When you move or open your eyes you are out, if I am still practicing you will get up and leave quietly. We will continue the lesson the next day. Your goal is to learn to sit as long as I can. Do you understand?"
Natur nodded her head letting him know she understood.
"Then let us begin."
Sage crossed his legs and began the rhythm for the breath, and Natur followed along. He recited the cadence for what seemed a long time to Natur, and then he stopped and Natur opened her eyes. Sage was sitting quietly breathing to the rhythm. Natur thought about cheating, but she figured she would be doing nothing but cheating herself. She got up and quietly went to her room. In her room, she thought about what she learned today. She promised herself that she would stop giving her power away, and that she would begin monitoring her breath throughout the day. The next morning she got up and went to school and several times during the day she made sure she took a deep belly breath. When she was on her way home, some of her peers made fun of her, and this time she felt her body begin to be tense, and she decided that she would stay in control. She took a deep breath and kept walking passed her tormentors. She made it to the garden and told Sage about the experience. She shared with him that it was still painful, but she felt more in control.
Sage congratulated her and invited her to take the position for the power test. They began the process and this time Natur was able to hold the rhythm for herself for a while, but she began to move and opened her eyes, got up and went to her room.
This continued for over a month, Natur would come to the garden sit in the position, and she would leave quietly after she had either began to fidget or open her eyes.
Each day Natur was able to sit longer, but this day Natur was determined to sit longer than she ever did. Eventually, she got so caught up in her breathing, and the rhythm that she forgot about trying to sit, and forgot about Sage and just felt her breath and the power of it. When she opened her eyes, she noticed that Sage was sitting looking at her. She got up to leave, and Sage stopped her.
"Young maiden where are you going?"
"I have disqualified myself, and I am following the instructions you gave me."
Sage began to laugh.
"My dear, you have passed this part of my lesson, now we will move to the next level."
Natur began to smile as she sat back down for her instructions.
"You have shown personal power, and now we have to begin to strengthen your vessel."
Natur looking confused.
"My vessel, what vessel?"
"Your body princess, now I will give you some exercise that will strengthen your vessel. I will introduce you to the 'art of yoking'. I will give you a short series of exercise that I have developed just for you. A strong spirit, mind and emotions are nothing without a powerful vessel to operate out of."
Sage stood up and walked through a series of movements, and then invited Natur to join him.
"I want you to stand up and first stretch both arms toward the sky like you are rising from your bed in the morning."
Natur attempted but could not raise her arms up evenly, and she stretched up and tried to stand on her toes.
"I don't want you to go to your toes yet just stretch up keeping your feet flat on the ground."
Natur made a correction to her pose. Sage walked over to her and helped her hold her balance and stretch her arms up. Sage afterwards walked back across from her, raised his arms up assuming the same position that she was in. Next keeping his feet flat began to arch his spine backward as far as he could. Natur copied the move the best that she could. Sage came across to her placing his hands on her back giving her support and correcting her. Sage then pushed her backward signaling her to come forward to the original pose. Moving back in front of her assuming the first pose keeping his arms above his head, he simply bent his knees keeping his back straight. Natur did this pose, and then Sage dropped his arms bending his knees until his hands touched the ground looking forward. Natur followed his motion and simulated as best as she could. Her back was aching, but she continued. Sage subsequently took his hands off the ground and raised his arms above his head placing both palms together lifting to his toes he next pushed up stretching all the way up. Natur tried to do this, but she lost her balance. She resumed the crouched position and tried it again. She could not get her hands over her head evenly, but she pushed through to the standing position on her toes reaching toward the sky. When Sage noticed her in this position, he put his feet flat on the ground, and lowered his hand's palms together in front of his chest. Natur did likewise.
"Princess I want you to practice this daily upon your rising in the morning. I want you to pay attention to your breath as you do it. We will end this session, and I will see you tomorrow."
The princess left and went to her room, and when she rose in the morning, she practiced with great difficulty. After school, she went to the garden to meet with sage. They went through the yoking exercises and then the power test. Everyday Natur improved. She still had problems raising her arms, but she continued to push through monitoring her breathing.
Natur rushed to the garden everyday for her talks with Sage. She noticed that she began to feel better about herself, and she no longer noticed the teasing that was going on. She would rush home everyday for her practice with Sage.
One day, she came to the garden, and sage was sitting in his usual place, but he had a bag with him. When she approached him, she knew something was different because of his demeanor.
"Princess today is the day that I continue on my journey, and you continue on yours. I have taught you what I can, and now it is time for you to start teaching yourself."
Natur was shocked by this and was at a loss for words.
"Young maiden you are ready for the rest of your life. You now have tools to deal with all situations, and I am comfortable with the idea of leaving you to your practice."
"Sage if you leave who will I talk to, and learn from?"
"Young maiden you don't need me for that you soon will be queen of this land and people, and you will do a fine job."
Pausing to pick up his sack, and place it on his back."
"I will leave you with a final secret that will help you throughout your life though. Do you want it?"
Natur trying to hold back her tears, simply nodded yes. After seeing her signal of affirmation sage began looking around to make sure no one else could hear what he had to tell her. Then he moved toward her and swearing her to secrecy. He cupped his hands around her ears and whispered these words in her ear.