What do you think Anna Klien meant about being a practitioner for 17 years before discovering she had a body? Do you ever find yourself totally in your head? If so, is this a more recent insight? Klein describes this pattern as ideologically and physically dangerous in certain contexts, describing her argument and your reflections on it. How might Klein’s arguments and experiences be one for contemplative education versus a singularly intellectual education? How does Klein describe coming into the wholeness or “yoga” with body and mind? Kira Ryder Slone quotes Buddhist nun Tenzin Palmo” ‘s definition of a yogini; reference this definition in either her own words or your own.
Week 4 Discussion
Anna Klein reveals that for a long period, she was not aware of the role of the body in contemplative practices.During her graduation journey, the main center focus has always been mind and knowledge rather than the body. For a long time, she had done meditation and somatic practices without encompassing the significance of the body in the process. Therefore, she states that she had been a practitioner for 15 years before she realized she had a body. She also addresses the problem of being indifferent towards other human suffering and refers to it as “ being in the human mind”. She reasons that the conflicts and clashes in history are proof that indifference causes humanity to suffer. For instance, she brings up the incident of partition of India when the lines were drawn on the map without considering the demographic and socio-economic factors that led to the suffering and death of many. Thus, she describes this type of ideology as physically destructive because she believes that ideas can be dangerous if they are not anchored in reality (BDG: Buddhistdoor Global, 2021c).
I agree with her statement because one should consider reality while implementing the idea. And our body is an essential part of that reality. There certainly are incidents in our lives where we get consumed inside our heads. The indifference towards human suffering is born for many reasons like lack of responsibility or normalized attitude towards others’ sufferings. This brings to the forefront the need for embodiment. As described by Klein the embodiment will train our imagination and make us more compassionate. Therefore, yoga as an embodiment will not only improve health but also give a person a controlled and peaceful mind. It will reduce the stressors that will increase the chances of making the right decisions and choices in life. It was observed that contemplative activities such as yoga and meditation help in improving the sensing abilities and emotions (Rashedi & Schonert-Reichl, p.723). I believe that embodiment will help us to have a correct view of reality because it is through our senses we experience things in this world. These experiences will become our perceptions.
Klein highlights the importance of contemplative studies over singularly intellectual education since it is proved by psychologists and scientists that mind and body are interconnected and one impacts the other. It means that education should provide scope for the development of both mind and body. In addition to this, Klein also discusses the concept of being “whole”.She describes how Tibetan breathing practice initiates the involvement of mind and body making a person “whole”.She elaborates it as a process where we channel our energy through controlled breathing as air is an element associated with energy. It works to heal the division between mind and body. On account of that, she reasons that the human mind rides on energy. This chain of thought has gained its center in micro phenomenology which explores the origin of an idea, emotions, and motivations. In conclusion, yoga leads to embodiment and connection between mind, body, and soul. Similarly, Kira Ryder Slone quotes Buddhist nun Tenzin Palmo” ‘s definition of Yogini in terms of prana: “ A professional of interior landscape.” Therefore, it means being an expert conservationist of the prana that is the life force (TEDx Talks, 2011).
BDG: Buddhistdoor Global. (2021, September 14). Mind & Life Podcast Ep. 14: Anne Klein – The Wisdom of the Body [Video]. YouTube. Retrieved October 18, 2022, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0zAX0JAnvk8&feature=youtu.be
TEDx Talks. (2011, December 14). TEDxOjaiWomen – Kira Ryder – Slip into Something More Comfortable. YouTube. Retrieved October 18, 2022, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZaQDWVqDMo-&feature=youtu.be
Rashedi, R. N., & Schonert-Reichl, K. A. (2019). Yoga and willful embodiment: a new direction for improving education. Educational Psychology Review, 31(3), 725-734.