By Lynda Shadbolt
In yoga and meditation we often talk about working with the two dimensions of our being, “the form and the formless.” Eckhart Tolle talks about this at length in his teachings. “The form” refers to our muscles, bones, organs, tendons, ligaments, blood.
The physical dimension of our being that we can see or touch and feel and move. Of course we want to have a strong, resilient “form” that can move and do the things we want to do in our lives, and also recover when we get injured or sick. In yoga the postures challenge “the form” into many different shapes to build power, mobility, balance and awareness.
We want a strong healthy “form” our entire lives. And then there is “the formless.” This refers to our deep, inner spaciousness, inner aliveness. Eckhart Tolle calls it our essence. The part of ourself that is pure energy and pure vibration.
The idea is that we are essentially love at the deepest dimension of our being. We can’t see or touch this dimension, but we can feel it and sense it. And in the practices of yoga and meditation we are strengthening our connection to this aspect of our being also. It is the quiet centre of our inner universe. What I find interesting is that there are so many ways to connect with these two dimensions of our being.
On the weekend, I attended the Lemon Bucket Orkestra concert and dance. The gifted group of performers had people of all ages dancing together doing simple circle and partner dances in a pre-concert workshop and during their show. People participated at whatever level they felt comfortable. At all times I bet there were a hundred people dancing. The joy was palpable. It only increased as the evening progressed.
At the start of the second half the band called Amy Brohm up onto the stage because it was her birthday. He also called the audience to come in nice and close around her. He then proceeded to explain that in his culture they sing what they hope for the person for the rest of their life on their birthday.
“We hope for you love, joy, peace, courage, strength, friendship, beauty, laughter” and more. His words went straight into the heart of everyone. And then the band, who stood facing Amy, sang in beautiful harmony a birthday song of hope. After all the dancing and moving, the quiet honouring and reverence for Amy that was expressed was beautiful. I think we were all connected to our “form and formless” in that moment.
The evening ended with everyone dancing and singing their hearts out and then a final blessing where everyone stood shoulder to shoulder and the band sang a song that translated into “run out into the streets and yell peace.”
It’s in these moments when we feel so alive, and connected to each other that there is strength and passion. It comes from a connection to our form, and our formless. And the world needs both parts of us to be strong.