The bow embodies humility and deference to powers much greater than what we normally think of as our ‘self’. Regular practice has the effect of taking tremendous responsibility off of our shoulders, while at the same time allowing us to access a deep well of innate strength, calm, and wisdom. Notice the effect it has for you, both during practice and throughout the rest of the day.
Gestures of Release:
Gestures of release allow us to let go of attachments and feelings that don’t serve others or us. Some of these attachments can be deeply rooted. Gestures can help to uproot them powerfully, yet gently so that we don’t feel that we are fighting a battle. As you practice regularly, you may notice unhealthy and distracting attachments that you didn’t even realize were there. They are uncovered as surface level feelings are managed. In this way, gestures of release can help reveal and manage our feelings in ways that helps serve others and us more and more over time.
The sighing exhalation gives a strong and immediate signal to your system to relax. Notice how it changes how you feel and think. Each exhalation is like a wave gently lapping the shore. Instead of wishing you were at the beach, you can bring the feeling of relaxing by the seashore to yourself, on command! When we are relaxed, we reduce the negative effects of stress, make better decisions, and see the world and others for what they are more clearly.
Resting in Stillness:
Resting in stillness allows us to assimilate the benefits of our other practices, and to access more deeply who we really are. This is something that no one else can do for us. Resting in stillness allows us to have our own direct experience – to experience the peace that is you - versus relying on peace from external sources.
Practicing namaste helps us to see and feel the connectedness and unity among ourselves, others, and all that is. As we bring our hands together in namaste, we help to foster unification and harmony. The boundary of what we feel as ourselves and everything else begins to blur. In this way, we can experience ourselves in and as an expanding field of people, things, and events. The boundary itself can dissolve completely, opening us to the vastness of who we really are.
All of the Shortcuts:
These simple but powerful shortcuts, when practiced regularly, can change how we are in the world and what we see in it. In this way, the shortcuts can change the world we live in. With clear perception, you can astutely observe. Not only will you manage your own thoughts, feelings, and habits better and better over time, but you will be able to see what might serve others more clearly as well. With your developing discernment, you can expand the benefits of your practice to others, and to the world. In our human experience, there is no greater gift than this.