"For every thought supported by feeling, there is a muscle change. Primary muscle patterns being the biological heritage of man, man's whole body records his emotional thinking." -- Mabel Ellesworth Todd
Reading the front page of the New York Times this morning I had to pause. It was about Charles Manson. He'd been hospitalized for intestinal bleeding since January and just died after 48 years of incarceration. I uttered to myself "ain't karma a bitch?" And who would have thought I could begin a blog post on love story with Charles Manson. Saying his name feels dirty or evil or something like that. But that is exactly how memory works, be it hateful, fearful, or loving, it's sticky and it stays on in the body and feeling long after the original event. Patricia Krenwinkel, now 69 years old was one of the women who took his order for the killings when she was 19, said in 2014 "the saddest part is my definition of love was totally skewed". I wonder how many of us commit the wrong, cruel, despicable acts because we have skewed love stories in mind. How many of us use drugs or become addicted to something and or someone because we desire to love and be loved? I believe we are all capable of committing ourselves to love but we aren't all capable of seeing love in all of its forms and functions in each and every human and all being.
Throughout last week I focused the practice on the sacral region which houses the reproductive organs and urinary bladder, and connects to the kidneys. In TCM, the kidneys contain Jing or the essence of vitality we inherit from the womb of our mothers. How we maintain the Jing in our lifetime determines our strength and longevity. The body remembers every feeling. When the feeling surges the story replays itself in my mind. Even when the body is healthy it doesn't mean there is no Karma to live with and learn from. Since I stoped eating poisons daily (see Backbone) my body doesn't feel the constant bloating, ache and pain that keeps my mind busy looking for ways to relieve the dis-ease. There is no where to hide from the memory. I was broken hearted early in life because, like any young person, I had a limiting idea of how I should be loved. My sister and I grew up in the same household in Thailand. She accepted the way she was loved by my parents and I rejected it. I left them and went on a big search. It took me all the way to New York City and parked me here in the Bay Area. Karma is neither good nor bad. It's our unique love stories embedded in the physical tissues. I am a part of my parents' love stories and they are mine.
Every time I practice yoga and meditation it's like returning to my mother's womb. I used to think that the thoughts come then the feelings follow. But the opposite is just as true if not more accurate. Certain body movements, musics, or scenes evoke certain feelings and push to the forefront of awareness certain memories. Memory is like water. It's never lost even after it evaporates. It simply becomes a part of something else. All is born from the past. I still remember the bagel/donut guy in front of the midtown building I worked at as a design assistant at cK Calvin Klein where I often bought breakfast. Though I no longer eat bagels or donuts regularly I miss chatting with the guy. I read daily the NYT, New Yorker, and yes, New York because it renews my memory of the people, places, and feelings. I've had traumatic but also ordinary yet meaningful memories in the city. When past memories serve to nurture current life Karma completes itself, and NYC becomes one of my love stories. There is a lifetime and beyond of the subconscious memory. I'm grateful to have both the body and mind available to feel all the love, learn all the lessons, and contribute to the memory of others and their love stories. When you love something or someone you want to immerse and learn all about them. What are your love stories?
You are water
I am water
We're all water in different containers
That's why it's so easy to meet
Someday we will evaporate together
-- Yoko Ono