‘Everything is not so bad,’ said Daniel at Kaliyoga France. Ostensibly he’s an osteopath and a reflexologist (whole body though, not just feet) but I suspect he’s a fair bit more than that – definitely a healer, maybe a bit of a shaman. And, oh those eyes! Those young/old wide open palest blue eyes. He’d checked me over and found all the old kinks, even dug around in my abdomen and found the same gut quirk that had surfaced in Austria. He adjusted a little here, a little there and then paused.
‘It’s here,’ he said, gently tapping my breastbone. ‘You’re locked right here... in the heart.’
Ah. My poor heart. It’s ever been thus. For our bodies try, dear souls/hearts, to protect us, don’t they? They build up a carapace; they armour us with wrenched tight twisted fascia. And our minds play sidekick, quickly jumping in, alert to hurt, watching for a reason to doubt, to suspect, to withdraw. And Body is more protective of Heart than it is of anything or anywhere else.
‘People hurt you,’ whimpers Body.
‘Keep ‘em out,’ advises Mind.
‘Might be best,’ agrees Body.
‘Definitely,’ says Mind with a profound sigh of relief.
Yet at Kaliyoga everything was conspiring to open me up again, to blast away heart/mind/body’s carefully constructed defences.
A series of yoga postures – opening, exposing, baring. And I felt a giving somehow, a loosening. A silent tear or two. And then chanting which, again, was all about opening, being, letting go of doubt and fear because, really (at heart), whether doubt and fear are true or not, they are not helpful. Om Tare, Tuttare, Ture, Soha... The Green Tara mantra which protects against doubt and delusion, the wrong thinking that traps your heart. And Tayata Om, the healing mantra of the Medicine Buddha. Gate gate, Paragate - passing the threshold, evolving into fearlessness.
Once you know something, you cannot unknow it. You can never go back; you can never change back into something you once were. And change is not just inevitable, it is safe. It must be. No matter what happens on the other side of the gate, on the other side of change.
‘Do you really believe that?’ said Mind.
‘Hell no!’ replied Body.
‘Give it a chance,’ whispered Heart.