100 days ago begun a journey and this evening has seen its completion. The journey was simple – 100 days with a minimum of 300 bows completed each day (the bow consists of starting from a standing position then bending down to a kneeling position, bowing and then moving back up to a standing position) simple, but not easy.
In the beginning the physicality of the practice was the most demanding aspect, my knees, ankles and shoulders would all ache, but as the days and weeks passed the body grew stronger; I must admit I originally was not sure my right knee would make it through 100 days straight I have had an on going injury and general weakness there for years, but to my surprise and despite the pain my right knee has grown in strength and range of movement and now the pain is almost gone.
One of the most interesting experiences I had came when I was suffering, the thing is bowing is similar to juice fasting! It cleanses the body and mind and pushes out any toxicity that may have been residing in the cellular tissues, when the body detoxifies it is common to suffer a healing ‘crisis’ it’s not really a ‘crisis’ that’s simply the popular term used; it’s simply an uncomfortable healing experience that feels a lot like the flu, but despite the flu (head cold, weaknesses, aching ect) I bowed and even though that session was one of the toughest to get through I was amazed at how it cleared all my symptoms in one session.
Bowing on Christmas Eve and day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day were new experiences for me; I would be upstairs bowing whilst the family were down stairs taking part in he festivities, I am glad I bowed I felt great for looking after my body, mind and soul and I learnt that no matter the occasion I could do it.
I must also confess that almost every day I did not look forward to bowing, once I bowed at 4.30am it was energetically amazing, but I cursed being awake at that time – my soul was still sleeping. My preference was after 7pm in the evening after my son had gone to bed and dinner had digested, but over the 100 days I think I covered most hours of the day even finishing some session at 12 in the evening, but no matter what time I bowed I lacked enthusiasm, but I never gave up something every day inside of me kept urging me to take to the mat and complete my bows.
I have been gifted and cursed with a complex, analytical mind that has only recently discovered that it has never rested, it has never really been present, it has never truly listened or seen the now, but as I neared the end of my 100 days I began to find quiet moments during the practice, moments that were peaceful, effortless and free, where I new I was in my body and the experience and not thinking and stuck in my mind, if you like its akin to hearing without thinking about what you heard, for example you hear a car but you do not think of the car instead you simply be with the noise the car makes. This was amazing and I have enjoyed developing this side of the practice and will continue to do so.
I could keep writing about the experiences I have had over the past 100 days but I am not going to, instead I am going to offer my gratitude to the practice of bowing meditation, it has taken me on an unexpected journey and changed the course of my path.