A concept exists regarding dualism in the natural forces. Light and shadow. Life and death. Unconscious and conscious. Passive and active. So many, many more. While some call them as opposites, they are actually the same thing but on a different level, on a different sphere. It is somewhat struggling to put into words. And what comes close to my mind is Harry Potter and Voldemort from Sybil Trelawney’s prophecy, “… neither lives while the other survives”. Only to mean that as much as there exists an interdependence between two forces, only one can manifest itself at a certain time. They are two forces complimenting each other to form a greater whole.
Another example is from watching The Dark Knight:
The Joker: Oh, you. You just couldn’t let me go, could you? This is what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object. You truly are incorruptible, aren’t you? You won’t kill me out of some misplaced sense of self-righteousness. And I won’t kill you because you’re just too much fun. I think you and I are destined to do this forever.
While both examples clearly outlines good and evil, there is more to what the dialogues say that we may have not “seen” or “heard” the first time around. One can not exist without the other. Or both forces simply are not there.
In yoga, there exists a dualism in the Nadi, channels where the Chakras connect, where the Prana flows. The Nadi in the centre, Sushumna, is the vertical channel dividing our lefts and rights. Ida, Chandra, moonlike and soothing in nature is the female channel, drawing from the right groin area ending in the left nostril. Pingala, Surya, sunlike and heated in nature is the male channel, beginning from the left groin area towards the right nostril. Ida is associated with our right brain; Pingala with the left hemisphere of the brain.
Ida and Pingala intertwine, spiralling around Sushumna, much akin to snakes curling their way up. The pink dots in the centre, along the Sushumna are the Chakras.
The Eastern Philosophy also takes us to the Chinese philosophy of yin and yang. Two opposing forces who are not opponents but complimenting each other flowing constantly in the Universe. The white, Yang, representing the male, similar to Pingala, sunlike; and the dark, Yin, symbolizing the female, akin to Ida, moonlike.
Each swirl contains a dot, the seed of the opposing force, representing the impermanence in the Universe, that nothing stays the same as the world flows through its constant changes. The symbol of yin-yang in Taosim is a reminder to the practitioner to accept such shifts and transformations and be able to soften in this process, letting go of the struggles.
In my own practice, the dualism is evident in Patanjali’s Sutra 2.46 – 2.48, Sthira Sukham Asanam, Steady Comfortable Position – attaining the optimal aligned pose through surrendering of tension with unrestrained effort bringing oneself towards meditation. Two opposing forces, effort and surrender or sthira and sukham, that we bring into balance allowing ourselves to take it deeper, physically and spiritually.
Why am I writing this?
I’ve come to a point of trying out several forms of meditation, reaching an impasse, and passing out in the process. There are those rare times I have grazed “there“… and my airy feet hovers happily… then excitement takes over realizing I got “there“… and poof! A moment of bliss and gone like the ghost that it is. It is very haunting to know it exists. Perhaps I try too damn hard. Perhaps there is more to the effort than the surrender. There is more Pingala than the Ida. I’ve always thought myself to be a Yang trapped inside a Yin. 😉
A week before Midsummer, the Summer Solstice, was a weekend of celebration, Summer in the City. And while we burned in the sweltering heat, purchasing wristbands for infinite rides, eating a variety of dishes, listening to local bands, eating more kinds of food, something caught my attention. A group of people was doing Tai Chi. I watched them move, taking photos, mesmerized by their grace, each attuned to their own rhythm, yet moving as one fluid motion.
When they finished their sequence, they called on me to join. My friend declined. But me… hell yeah!!
It’s a short vid my friend took. And joining them, however klutzy in how I looked, it was fun. They were an adorable group, feeling a little bit insecure about their age when I joined them, that makes them all the more adorable! I really don’t mind. What matters is how I felt about Tai Chi. And it felt good.
I’ll be learning with them, all 108 movements. Don’t we all love 108?? It seems to pop everywhere. My intention is to adapt their movements with my yoga practice. I know there are already existing Tai Chi Yoga somewhere but it doesn’t hurt to create my own flow, my own rhythm, my own sylphic yoga into it. I think it’s a good idea. I feel good about the idea.
And when the movements come to the point of Sthira and Sukham, then perhaps I can try this form of meditation. I may be those few people who need movement to meditate, until such time I can do so in stillness. Duality.