Bowing Meditation – 3000 Bows

On day 44 of my journey completing 300 bows for 100 days something happened! My teacher and guide Mater Choi Nim asked me to complete 3000 bows; I was surprised by my initial reaction Yes let’s do it, when can we do it? Then my rational mind sprung to life after Master Choi Nim mentioned we could I could complete the 3000 bows the following day. I asked, how long does that take as it dawned on me 300 bows was taking 1 hour more or less depending on how I was feeling, the reply was 8 1/2 – 10 hours! All of sudden I said oh yeah I can do that, but can we wait until next week – more for my mind than my body. That evening however, I messaged Master Choi Nim to confirm I could come in and complete my 3000 bows the next day, I had recognised my mind wanted to wait and put this task off as it seemed daunting and yet I remembered my initial response before thought was yes and I knew then my soul had decided now was the time.
I had to set some visions for 2014 a way of committing to paper my intentions behind bowing. I always struggle at this point as I have far to many visions for one piece of paper and then struggle focusing on the ones that are of greatest importance to me at this moment, but after I simply cleared my mind and committed to paper my visions for 2014 this is what I wrote:

Grow my Soul,
Complete the Brain Management Training course through Dahn Yoga,
Master my energy,
Heal my ailments,
Create a successful holistic health coaching business
Start a new life in Costa Rica as part of a sustainable Eco friendly community with my family.

At 10 am I had my visions laid out before me and yoga mat ready to journey with me through 3000 bows and so this adventure begun. The first 600 – 700 bows were ok in fact despite pain in both knees, which was eased by me loving my knees and telling them they are strong and awesome I enjoyed those first bows; this was in part due to the fact the Friday class was taking part next door and I could feel their energy and the upbeat music gave me extra strength, but by the time the students had left the centre and everything became quiet the pleasant and enjoyable experience was over.
From 800 – 1500 bows the pain, which simply became a whole body stiffness and when you need the joints to open and move freely stiffness is not good and I tried going faster to build heat and going slower to soften, I also repeated my mantras of forgiveness, acceptance and surrender, which helped a little bit, but that stiff pain would not shift except surprisingly from the knees who appeared to have found a rhythm and for this I was grateful.
The greatest struggle I had in the first 1500 bows was if the pain was adamant on staying and only getting increasingly more uncomfortable how was I going to A make it passed the 1500 and then B complete the final 1500 which could be another 5 hours of continual bowing. This line of thought and questioning was not a good place to be in simply because I was dwelling in a place I was only approaching, but not yet in. I had to get me into the present and I chose to focus on the counting and boxing them in boxes of tens and only focus on those 10s and not the 1000s ahead of me, this helped but the monkey mind thanx to the pain was in hyper drive.
At 1500 bows I had to change rooms this was a welcome break and I also grabbed a drink of water because another thing I was not able to was get my energy flowing properly – the energy flow principle is simple: water up (saliva in the mouth) and fire down (warm belly), in recent weeks I thought I had this mastered, but it would appear no as my mouth was bone dry and I needed the toilet for the best part of 2 hours so the water was down and the fire was up. The break whilst it was welcomed led to my greatest challenge Anger! When I started the final 1500 bows I was angry, the pain was still there, stiffness, soreness, neck and shoulders, back and hips were all complaining plus my dry mouth returned and now I turned into a gas ball, which also led to very interesting sensations in my gut; my mind was in over drive it was finding every reason and excuse to be angry, to complain, to moan and to give up.
In one moment of anger where my body was falling like a pile of wood to the floor (as I was stiff) and then very un gracefully getting back up just to fall down again, I roared and hit a fist to the ground releasing my anger and clearing my mind for long enough to say Matt f**k (apology for the use of language, I simply include it to get across my state at that moment) your visions, your new focus is simple: DON’T GIVE UP, whatever happens now you are going to get through this, it may not feel like a spiritual experience, it may not feel pleasant, it may not feel anything like you had expected or anticipated and thats ok, you are going to let all that go and keep going, get back into your now count your boxes of 10 smile and get through.
The truth is I ploughed through I made it to the end in 7 1/2 hours and could not move a muscle accept the one that smiled simply because if nothing else I didn’t give up, which made me feel like I had grown my soul and I also recognised that the release of anger, the gas, the sweat and the pain in general were all healing signs and I also realised that by not giving up even when every cell of my being was asking me, shouting for me to I kept going, which means I have the strength to achieve all my visions. Life rarely shows up how you expected it to, but it does always bring what you need.

To you all in great health

The Yoga Health Coach


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