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Why Yoga? Why Meditation?

From Alan Watts:

"If you ask, "What did you do yesterday?" the average person will consult memory and give you a very attenuated, strung-out chronicle of events, having reduced yesterday's experience to a thin line of words. What you did yesterday becomes what you noticed yesterday, and what you noticed yesterday was a very tiny part of what happened. It was only as much as you could record in some memory code, in words or in brief impressions.

If you identify yourself with that skinny little stream of life, it is not wonder that you feel unsatisfied, because you ate the fish bones instead of the fish. And since we think that is what is happening all the time, and that life is only this skinny little thing, we feel hungry for experience, for thrills, and for ecstasy.

We say, "There must be more coming," and we need more and more future, because the past is gone, and it was a scraggly past anyway. We have no present, because life looks like an hourglass: It has a big future and a big past, but only a tiny little neck of a present that everything is squeezed through.

In Buddha symbology the idea behind the hourglass is represented as a kind of being called a preta. A Preta is thought of as a hungry spirit, and these creatures are represented as having enourmous bellies but mouths and throats only about the diameter of a needle, so they can never get enough. That tiny mouth and immense belly represents the neck of the hourglass, and the feeling of having no present.

In fact, our present is enormously rich, and you will realize this if you understand there is no time except present time. There is only now; there never was any time but now, and there never will be any time but now. It is all now. There is no hurry to gobble life down, and if you do you won't be able to digest it. We can go on much longer than we suppose without eating. so it's all right to just sit and be in the present.

But if you identify with the linear conception of yourself, with your story, and with the abstract ego, you feel inadequate. and therefore it becomes necessary to try to make up for that inadequacy by using energy to attain more in all sorts of ways."

Alan Watts, Still the Mind

In yoga and meditation, we practice present moment awareness. In hypnotherapy, we use the imagination to travel from present to past and future and then return to present firmly rooted.

Whether you're just starting out on your spiritual journey or you're looking for space to be present, please join me on the mat. And if you find yourself caught up in the "linear conception" of yourself and your story bogged down by emotions, hypnotherapy allows you to step out of the drama and reconnect with the present moment.

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