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I sing the body electric
I celebrate the me yet to come
I toast to my own reunion
When I become one with the sun

Wade Lassister

Dancing Without Resistance,
Feeding the Inner Fire

There is a passion that lurks in the depth of our buried dreams. Somewhere in the mythic ground zero of our esoteric questing, we need to burn, to die, and to rise as a phoenix. After the job of surviving our base essentials has secured our daily lives into routine resentments, redundant agendas, and predicable obligations, we feel the fire. We feel ourselves burning, and we know something is churning. More often than not we look for the remedy that will keep us on track, keep us from deviating, keep us coloring inside those lines that fend off surprise and fear.

Sedation provides a strange equanimity. It’s almost as though inspirational paralysis offers a Zen simplicity. If we subdue our imaginations, we will never be afraid of making a mess. If we ignore the environmental crisis, we will never need to design a plan. If we resist the drive to grow, we will never we will never crash in our attempts to leap. At some point in our evolution we learned to equate inactivity with leisure. We decided to witness performance rather than experience dynamic activity directly.

Ever watch a toddler? A developing youth is organically determined to physically engage, to emulate others, to perform, to create, to achieve! Nature instills within us a drive that synthesizes the mind, the body and the spirit. We innately seek the ecstatic charge of self discovery. It feels so incredibly rewarding to exceed the moments limits and redefine possibilities. How did it ever become more desirable to watch rather than to do?

Perhaps the heightened capacities of supreme athletes have daunted our aspirations rather than inspired them? Is today’s excellence simply so high of a mountain to climb that we’ve given up a walk after dinner? Or maybe we’ve agreed to overwork past the point of feeling any desire beyond exhaustion?

As I see my soul reflected in nature;
As I see through a mist, one with inexpressible
completeness and beauty,

Is internet access so overwhelming as to inhibit our enjoyment of reading?

In this head the all-baffling brain;
In it and below it, the makings of heroes.

Aspiring to greatness is not about stories successfully retold immemorial. It is the quality of stepping into Self as one immerses in an all engaging endeavor.Greatness is the zeal of fusing intention, possibility and will. The largeness of Self as it generates through a process of mortal engagement is the calling of burning wings within each of us. Whether in an arena of 50,000 spectators or in the solitude of a single 2’ X 6’ yoga mat, greatness is the experience of unbridled participation.

Exquisite senses, life-lit eyes, pluck, volition,

Have you ever seen a blue lipped, wrinkled skin, teeth chattering 6 year old refuse to get out ot the swimming pool? It’s clearly more fun to feel the fusion of self and water than it is to warm up. How long has it been since we’ve been able to feel irrepressible joy beyond the sensation of a chill? Can we go back far enough in our body memories to fathom the magic of emotions dancing with sensations? How many times have dry clothes taken priority over splashing with our kids?

If any thing is sacred, the human body is sacred,

I remember spending Saturdays in my grandmother’s kitchen. Of course, the day of the week between Friday and Sunday was Baking-day. There was so much to do, so much to feel, and so much to reap! Cookies, bread, rolls, pies, cakes were part of a process that began with a trip to the market, continued with hours in the kitchen, and lingered throughout the week on each family table. Do our kids know how to bake?

The voice, articulation, language, whispering, shouting aloud,

It’s really easy to feel relief when children quietly engage attention towards a television or computer screen. Containment, quiet and mental development are quite positive in the matrix of a balanced life. We definitely need to inventory the context of our daily lives, however. Do we provide room for the quintessential fires to transform in ecstatic revelation? Do we offer dynamic adventure within the structure of recreation? Do we surprise ourselves with regular visits from Self as we maintain the essential requirements of human survival?

The exquisite realization of health;
O I say, these are not the parts and poems of the Body only,
but of the Soul,
O I say now these are the Soul!

Poetry excerpts from I Sing the Body Electric by Walt Whitman

by Toni Zuper
Alternative Healing
Center City, Philadelphia

published in Yoga Living -- July 2007 issue