Friday, September 07, 2012

The Empty Mat

"When I unroll my yoga mat and carefully place it on the floor, I often briefly reflect on the fact that this yoga mat has created a sacred space.  The mat has outlined a spiritual domain, marked the Four Magickal Quarters, hallowed out an empty space for action.  Could we stand tall and strong like The Warrior without this freedom of Nothing in Our Way?  Without this potent emptiness how could we move to align with the cosmos?  Aligning our mats is a ritual act in physical fitness yoga practice. 

My Taijiquan practice area is also a wide empty space.  A clear space for flowing movements with a clear mind.  An uncluttered domain for cultivating an uncluttered mind.  Nothing is essential here for doing something of real value.  

The whole topic of Emptiness (Sunyata, Mu, the Void, Inter-Dependent Arising, impermanence, etc.) leads us into thoughts and insights about consciousness, knowing, and metaphysics. The Heart Sutra is a classic Buddhist scripture that reflects on the emptiness at the core of all beings and that is a path for true understanding.  This understanding along with the Four Immeasurables (Love, Compassion, Joy and Impartiality), the Ten Paramitas, and Three Treasures (Buddha, Dharma, Sangha) provide us with a wide path for going beyond, far beyond, to the Other Shore.

Our simple yoga mats, like a beautiful window or door, can open us up and out to energizing possibilities, allow us to play with new experiences, allow us to see in new ways, grant us a place for becoming.  Emptiness creates the ground for what is to emerge, from the holy heart of creation.  Emptiness is receptive and giving at the same time.  So, today, just lay your mat down, enter the Dragon's Gate of Emptiness, sit, and savor Nothing."  



  1. Very nice, Mike!


  2. Thank you, Bob. Look forward to joining you for breakfast in Paradise (CA) next week.