Indra's net

Some initial contemplations on the concept of Indra's net

I’ve long been intrigued by Indra’s net, the idea that we’re all not just connected but interrelated in a delicate and interdependent way. I like this quote from Alan Watt who describes it better than I ever could:

"Imagine a multidimensional spider's web in the early morning covered with dew drops. And every dew drop contains the reflection of all the other dew drops. And, in each reflected dew drop, the reflections of all the other dew drops in that reflection. And so ad infinitum”.

There are a few spins I can take with this and probably will over the next few weeks. What strikes me right now is how strong and flexible each stranding of a spider’s web is, and yet how utterly powerless it is on its own. It is dependent on each of the other strands for its strength and each time one of those strands bends or breaks the others have to close and support the gap.

If you think of it in terms of a yoga pose, we’re using the same parts of our body every time. However, there’s a lot of stuff going on with the poses and they all have different sensations. For me, it breaks into three things: some part of the body is providing the structure, some part is stretching out and the rest is supporting. The supporting part is harder than you thing, when we’re trying hard to get something, everything wants to join in. Think of it this way: how many times have you suddenly realised you’re not breathing in a pose or that you’ve been clenching your jaw for ten minutes and it really hurts!

Check it out next time you’re doing your yoga practice, which parts of you are doing what. This is all starting to lay the foundations of what I think is one of the endlessly fascinating parts of yoga - how the body is effected by the practice on a physical, mental and spiritual level.

Posted in 2014

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