The last 5 days of bowing have been a struggle in one sense; finding motivation to actually complete the bowing has been both challenging and insightful; insightful because I know that I always feel better after completing my practice; I have noticed that I am healing physically, emotionally and spiritually, which is both great and should be a source of motivation, for this reason it is insightful because I am finding it hard to motivate myself to take part in something that I know is good for the whole of me and then this reflected to me another insight about my life; how often do I put of doing things that are good for me because my motivation is low?
The challenge was despite the lack of motivation to get into the practice each day and not give up; giving up is easiest and most likely when I lack motivation to do something, but for the reasons stated I knew I could not give up and so I bowed my 300 bows each day.
The actual practices themselves have not been challenging and have actually been very insightful and healing. The main insight I had was that if I bowed faster than my thoughts my body temperature raised I would sweat, but I found a rhythm that was peaceful and flowing and I realised that my previous pace was caught in the ego by this I mean I would bow at pace that allowed me to think and analyse too much; where as when I picked up the pace, let go of tension and simply bowed my thoughts were a lot less and I noticed I had accumulated a lot more energy for my meditation practice afterwards.
This may seem counter intuitive to move faster to gain more energy! the truth is in the practice and I would say in my early sessions I would have tired instead of feeling re-energised, this is for many reasons, but the one that matters is the mind would still have been distracting me from the experience I was having for example when I was pushing mysef faster and thoughts such as I can’t keep going at this pace for another 50 bows would come in and so the mind would add extra fatigue onto the practice.
Now through this practice I have found I can calm the mind and energise the body, the calming of the mind comes from simply focusing on the bowing and the breath and nothing else, other thoughts come in to the mind for sure and I may find myself distracted for 5 or 6 bows, but if my focus is simple I can bring the mind back to the practice and keep going, it is the present mind that allows a fast paced bowing session to be re-energising instead of exhausting, another way of looking at it, if I bow fast with the intention of completing my practice quicker I may find myself fatigued by the end, but if I bow faster with the intention of allowing the mind to be in the present moment and no thought of the goal of completion an interesting thing happens! I arrive at my destination quicker and full of energy, at least this is what I have observed through my experiences over the past 55 days.
I can only say that at the moment I feel stronger, calmer and more peaceful than I have been for a long time and my bowing practice is a big factor in arriving at that state.
To you all in great health and wishing you happiness for your own journeys.