By Susan Ni Rahilly
“You think you’re a mountain, but you’re a sleepy camel.” Osho
My own personal Yoga practice today is on the Camel Posture – I’m re-working a workshop on this posture which is about power and energy, and creating space for personal inner power. I use the Osho quote “You think you’re a mountain . . .” in the workshop teaching. It makes such a good introduction to practice in Contemplation.
Especially if you’re emerging from negative emotions like guilt affecting you and moving into a healing phase in your life.
This is my direction at the moment, teaching the sweet, gentle path to healing from guilt-residue as I write the companion to Daddy’s Girl’s Guilty as Hell my book on Catholic Guilt and its effects on women’s lives. I’m working at the more Universal experience of guilt and hopefully offering transformation from the awfully lonely legacy that guilt is for a human being using Yoga as the process?
Emerging is the word I use for the step in the healing process just after awakening when you’ve woken up and you see the light.
As Sivananda said: “consciousness is hidden in their memories . . .” So, maybe this is like the light at the end of a tunnel. But you’ve been in darkness – any place in your life that has not been healthy for you because of guilt – and now you emerge into the daylight. You may be shell-shocked and bruised and now you need a little time to adjust to the change. You need a bit of space to determine your surroundings, this is new open terrain.
It’s natural to be cautious and to take stock when you’ve been stuck in your life and affected by guilt, whether from trans-generational religous or spiritual tensions, and especially if your wake-up call came after a disaster. But we don’t stay too long in this place as now is the time to keep moving forward along the healing path. Even moving slowly is better than not moving at all!
This can take some courage, and support. There is much on offer. There are many good people out there supporting you.
So, here is a practice in Contemplation for this Emerging stage. You can use visualisation or journaling or both.
This is how I teach it: Sit quietly, paying attention to your breath for a moment or so, bringing yourself to stillness and silence. Centre yourself by breathing from the solar plexus, the centre.
“You think you are a Mountain, but you really are a sleepy Camel“. Visualise this. Where is the Mountain, where is the Camel? Under the hump, where has the Camel’s body been buried all this time? As the sleepy Camel wakes up, what does s/he see? What burdons and baggage have you been carrying in your hump for others – you can start your journaling with this awareness.