It is generous of yoga teachers to natter away at us when we are in the most complicated poses, distracting us from mounds of sensation which can be overwhelming. This morning, while we students were contorted into a particularly sweaty pigeon pose, the teacher began to riff. I wasn’t really listening until I heard her begin the sentence “feelings without thoughts are…”
She paused for a second. I thought, “that’s a neat concept to ponder”.
She continued. “…interesting”.
As is my wont, I took a moment’s break from achieving enlightenment to think”the feelings may be interesting, but that statement certainly wasn’t.” How else might we complete the sentence?
My first reaction is feelings without thoughts are prayer. Perhaps that’s because I am a natural feeler burdened with a mind that loves logical thinking; when I shed the trappings of reason and let me heart do what it will I feel closest to God.
When I look at a family member and realize nothing in the world could trump my visceral love for them, that’s prayer. When I hear an orchestra, when I stop thinking about time signatures and my heart breaks loose on the wind, that’s prayer. When I swim or run or stretch and all I focus on is my body, to the exclusion of any other concern, that’s prayer. When I whistle a hymn without knowing what I’m doing, that’s prayer.
So what do you say? What are feelings without thoughts? Are they nonsense? Danger? Blessing? Deception? What else might they be?