Writings

Savasana-the art of living and dying


Savasana is a practice that has become my most beloved one. It wasn't always so, in the beginning the notion of laying down still on the floor focusing attention on breath and body seemed like science fiction. I would either fall asleep or think incessantly of what had and could happen. I didn't get it.
Savasana-the art of living and dying
It's a tricky asana, savasana. It revolves around death, it's is the corpse pose, a simulation of death. The Buddha used death a lot in his teachings, he would bring people to grave yards and put them in direct contact with the reality of death. Not in a depressing and purgatory kind of way, but more like a sober reminder that death is indeed our one guarantee and the constant reminder that all is fleeting and impermanence is what we have to contend with. And to find meaning in.
Death scares us, freaks us out. It's all too real and uncomfortable and the fact that not one single one of us will escape it, means the mystery of it is always present. Religion is supported by it. If it wasn't for the fact that we're so scared and insecure about who we are and what we're doing here, religion would not be the powerhouse it is. We have this need to be reassured that what awaits us after is somehow not our biggest fear, that we were wrong, that we misunderstood what it was all about. We buy any package, follow any guideline as long as it guarantees that if we follow it, we'll be home free.
All spiritual traditions in some way stem from it. We want to know why, why this life, why this body, this set of circumstance? Are we supposed to do something with this, is there a meaning we're not getting...?
The evolution that became humanity created the space for this attempt at transendence by rising above mere survival and gave birth to the idea of more, better, faster, bigger...All this at a speed that this planet had never, to our knowledge, before seen, And in this evolutionary room for growth that was created, we started asking why. Why life? Why death? Spirituality offered the solution to find out for yourself, to expand the minds capacity to see more than flesh and bone and embody the consciousness of that which exists beyond the I. A fascinating concept, but one that still in many ways refers back to the fact of death.

Since our relationship to death is inevitable it is one that it's wise to cultivate friendship with. Savasana does that for me. Most of the time I use it to relax my body and tune in to my body, but sometimes lay down and reflect upon death, notice the sensations in my body as I do and feel the fears and sorrows those thoughts and feelings bring forth. I imagine that this is indeed the last day or hour of this life and I reflect, I ask myself, is there anything I regret not having done? Anyone I have hurt that I need to apologize to? Anyone I resent that I need to forgive? Is there a truth that needs to be said?
This practice directs me to life. It becomes my confession, my admittance to all things hidden, and the opportunity to amend that which needs amending.As I reflect upon death, life becomes so precious, every single moment of it and if I had forgotten that, denied the absolute perfection of even the most mundane details of my existence, the magic of savasana brings me straight back home to appreciation and gratitude for all that life is.

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