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The Paradox

 the paradox

Foto – Peter Sahlberg

 

The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less. We buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time.

 

The paradox of our time in history is that we have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness. We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.

 

The paradox of our time in history is that we have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often. We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life.

 

The paradox of our time in history is that we’ve added years to life not life to years. We’ve been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We conquered outer space but not inner space.

 

The paradox of our time in history is that we’ve done larger things, but not better things. We’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We’ve learned to rush, but not to wait.

 

The paradox of our time in history is that we build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less.

 

These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill. It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom.

 

Yoga helps us find slower, fewer, but deeper breaths. Less overall muscle tension but more specific muscle engagement. Less diffuse mental energy but more laser-like concentration. Less wanting, more acceptance; less doing more being. If you, like me, live in the quick pulse of a busy city; if you enjoy its modern conveniences and hate its noisy chaos, then your yoga practice is largely about balance. Rather than making yoga your time out, use your practice to prepare yourself for the world out there. Yoga brings the body into stressful positions, challenges the muscles to hold longer, to stretch deeper. We create situations of tension. And then we learn to soften into that discomfort, to find stillness at the centre of a self-imposed turbulence. The ability to maintain equanimity in a yoga pose is directly related to the ability to maintain sanity in a high-speed, low-connection culture.

 

Jeff Dickson.

 

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