Dead Man Waking


I refuse to become a ‘Dead Man Walking’

Sometimes the reflection I see in the mirror as I shave before work is alien to me and when the man I see, is a pale reflection of the man I want to be, it is time for change.

I have always been a Seeker, a restless spirit, someone who enjoys searching, learning and growing. Whenever my life grows stale and cold due to the entropy of awareness, I seek out a transformative process that will bring me to the precipice of myself and be a rigorous catalyst for change.

The thing is, I too enjoy comfort, stability, structure, (not to mention good red wine and rich comforting foods), but I am also aware of how the creative, intellectual, and spiritual parts of my life are prone to atrophy over a period of time if new wellsprings are not actively sought out. I don’t think it is possible to have a ‘safe’ life, to cling to comfort like a small child and to evolve at the same time. So, in order to rekindle the light behind my eyes, I am embarking on another transformative process.

I did various martial arts for over a decade, I enjoyed the cardiovascular aspects, the discipline, the strength I could feel in my body and the moment by moment awareness necessary when sparring with an opponent. But, with time my opponents grew younger (or I older) and my relationship with Kung-Fu ended with three cracked ribs and a month of painful insomnia.

I am a kinetic being and if I do not exercise, my mind becomes cloudy and filled with dangerous crackling static. My partner’s suggestion that I start Yoga was met with derision, I heaped scorn upon something I knew very little about and it was only when my ferocious mind threateningly tightened its noose that I capitulated and found myself on a yoga mat, surrounded by women, feeling quite emasculated and self conscious. Slowly, very slowly I lowered my defenses, my martial power based practice, my expectations, I massaged my ego when I fell out of poses, I began to find my balance and concentrate on what was happening on my mat as opposed to the attractive woman two rows down.

Over the past five years it has become less important as to whether or not I can do a handstand, but whether I can be present throughout a strong flowing practice. Can I drop beneath the ceaseless fluctuations of the mind, the preening ego, into the quiet depths below? It is in these depths that I have begun to understand the potency of this practice and its very clear links  to my healing vocation.

I know it may all sound a wee bit evangelical… but bare with me while I explore and plot the topography of these depths over the next five month teacher training cycle, there is something in here which we can all use to understand ourselves. It may take courage for a Spirit to grow, but I’ve got a feeling its going to take bloody hard work too!

About the author

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Jamie Elkon http://shrinkrap.co.za/

The author can be found rummaging through life looking for nourishment in the early hours of the morning. He is slowly going sane by using his actual life and relationships to wake up.He lives in Cape Town with his teenaged daughter, two bassett hounds named Thelma and Louise and Digit... the cat. He hugs trees, has experienced numerous dark nights of the soul, collects incorrect Chinese packaging and tracks curious things to their lair.

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