April 13 – A Profound Bow – Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening

“All streams flow to the sea because it is lower than they are. Humility gives it its power.” Lao-Tzu

There is a Yoga mudra, a kneeling posture of exercise where by bringing your head to your chest while extending you arms up and out behind you, you can practice placing your head beneath your heart. And from this humbling position, you can’t help but tire, and so, you must put your arms down. With your head beneath your heart, you must stop doing.

Soon after learning this, I came upon a woman who had been a nun, and she told me that she would practice for days upon days, similar postures of Gregorian Chant: incline, bow and profound bow – each bringing the head lower and lower to the earth.

This holds a powerful lesson:Time and time again, the head must be brought beneath the heart or the ego swells. If you do not bend, life will bend you.  In this way, humility is accepting that your head belongs beneath your heart, with your thinking subordinate to your feeling, with your will subordinate to the higher order.  This acceptance is key to receiving grace.

Lay your head down and the world of being will open its joys.

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