Body Talk: A Yoga Experience

After visiting the Yoga exhibit at the Cleveland Museum of Art (CMA), I have come to the realization of a divine truth.  Enlightenment, on whatever level, is inevitable. I ask the question:  Is death truly our greatest fear?  I would never want to believe that, but I have recently witnessed some things that may convinced me otherwise. In synchronizing fashion, I completed the book, Tell Me Something About Buddhism and shortly thereafter visited the CMA with my band mates from Intercourse the Collective to see the Yoga: The Art of Transformation exhibit.   Obviously, both reading the book and visiting the museum went hand in hand.  Both experiences helped me solidify one understanding, to let go of the body.  Now this does not mean that we let ourselves go, eating whatever, drinking whatever, being sexually irresponsible, in other words causing harm to ourselves.  What it does mean to me, is that we cannot allow our physical existence to dominate our thoughts.  I don’t have to obsess over lifting weights, growing hair to a certain length, becoming preoccupied with skin tone preferences, etc.  Essentially, as author Zenju Manuel states it, “Buddha taught that the body, when clung to, is dukkha, and ultimately dissatisfying. The yoga exhibit showed the most recent evolution of the practice, and of particular interest was the miniature sculpture of Sirddartha, who would evolve into the Buddha, experiencing his most profound fasting which lead to his ultimate awakening.  The depiction shows the extreme measures of fasting that reveals the bone due to undernourishment, and also the demons (distractions) constantly attempting to tear him away from the true enlightenment of which he sought – extreme sacrifice.  I was a little disappointed that there was no mention of Kemetian origins and/or influences on yoga, but the visit was informative and worth the visit nonetheless.

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