Corpse Pose

king tut

Recently, I was lying in Savasana at the end of practice, and without intent or purpose, I got swept away into the meditation of the pose.  Savasana means Corpse Pose and one of the traditional ways of contemplating this pose is to visualize your body, heavy and (dead); rotting away slowly.

First, you visualize your dead body, just lying there.  Motionless.  Your flesh droops and starts to hang off of your bones.  The animals start to pick away at you.   The ones with claws, sharp beaks and canine teeth.  Decomposition continues and the bugs join into the feeding frenzy.  And don’t forget the maggots, and then the worms.  When there is nothing left, all bellies are full except yours, you lie there….just bones, maybe some cartilage, which will soon dry up and shrink.  And then eventually, when years and decades and centuries have passed, and provided you are not a king amongst Egyptians, your bones will become brittle and they too, will start to crumble and decay.

Ashes to ashes.  Dust to dust.

When I started to think about it, I realized that this shape that is my body is so temporal.  Destined to become dust.  My teeny-tiny blip of a lifespan in the Grand Scheme of Things is really quite insignificant.  One day I will die, and this body will disappear and I will be no more.

And to be honest, it kind of bummed me out.  “What is the point?” I thought.  Why bother trying to be good, live well, eat well…and well, care?  If it’s not really gonna matter, can’t I just eat bread, smoke cigarettes and have ice cream every day?  This teeny-tiny me is not going to make a difference.  I’m just a bag of ashes waiting to happen.

Until I let that line of thinking come to a screeching halt.  Its true:  I am just a bag of ashes waiting to happen….we all are.  But that doesn’t mean that I can’t make a difference whilst my atoms are still coagulating in a somewhat cohesive form.

Within the span of one Savasana (yoga’s so cool), I went from dying, rotting, disintegrating and being nothing more than a link in a food chain to a sharp and sudden realization:

Goddammit.  I’m going to matter.

I’m going to matter in this world and on this planet and in this teeny-tiny blip which is my life.  Maybe I won’t matter in a big way.  Lord knows, I’m certainly no Einstein.  But I’m going to live this blip to fullest of its bleep because it’s just..so…short.  I am going to matter in a moment, with a smile or a hug, or gesture of patience.  I am going to pick up a piece of trash today.  Or stop to high-five a child.  And I am going to choose to matter.

But the funny thing is, it’s really hard to say that out loud.  We oftentimes spend so much energy diminishing ourselves.  We are not encouraged to be fabulous, ambitious, successful or simply great.  So many people I know don’t even know how to take a compliment.  We are not taught to sense our weight, our heft…indeed, our impact and importance on this world.

But I want to be HEAVY.  And FULL.  And make a dent in this gift of a life that I’ve been given.  Like a grass-fed bison running head-on into the fender of a Ford Echo.  I want ridiculous love and sickening romance, passion and stillness, ecstatic joy and lessons gleaned from hard knocks and sorrow.  I want a life that is spicy like a habanero.  Spare me the bland and the boring.

And when my bones turn to ashes and I become another link in this miraculous food chain, I want them to sparkle like sandstorms of golden fairy dust.

ashes

La Guardia, NYC

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. summereastwood
    May 14, 2013 @ 17:53:27

    Love this, exactly what I needed to be reminded of today.

    Reply

  2. Tracy
    May 22, 2013 @ 23:58:06

    “I want ridiculous love and sickening romance, passion and stillness, ecstatic joy and lessons gleaned from hard knocks and sorrow.”… loveit loveit loveit!

    Reply

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