Whenever we practice virtue or restrain ourselves from negative behaviors, we press against that wall. On the other hand, when we ignore the opportunities to practice virtue or give in to the whims of negative habitual inclinations, we miss the opportunities we're constantly given to penetrate deeply within.
Subtle fears arise before consciousness whenever we leave our egos discontent. The ego tells us we might as well be annihilated if we let our little happinesses it desires be taken away by some silly notion of a blissful and expansive way of being. If we stay with the wall and scan it with the keen observation of integrated conscious energies, however, we can realize the ego's weak argument is nothing before the almighty proofs of the Divine.
This takes a sustained and vigilant practice. It requires increasingly living your life in meditation. It doesn't work by any haphazard, manic overnight drive, but rather with skill, steadiness and precision that usually take much time and dedication to hone, not to mention a persevering spirit.
Perhaps you've made the attempt before. You barrel toward the springboard for a grand catapult but instead of springing up you trip over, your knees buckle and you go flying headlong into the wall.
What happens to the gymnast when he stumbles right at the springboard is the same thing that happens to everyone when they approach a wall or spiritual obstacle that looks difficult to scale. And though a gymnast often looks heroic and confident right up until the point just before they become airborne, how often we see where a little doubt jumps into them, a little fear and then ... splat!
Every gymnast has been through that, but every good gymnast gets up and tries again. Similarly, the greatest warriors have been at the front lines to receive the heaviest blows. They're the ones who learn to get up again and again, undaunted.
As fears dissipate, courage cultivates. The punching and pounding of determination transform into a grace of martial arts, an acrobatic aikido. These skills become finely honed, and trust in the Form replaces fears of the unknown.
WILLIAM BRASHEAR is a Yoga Psychologist and owner of Cincinnati Yoga School in Blue Ash. He's been practicing progressive meditation since 1988 and gives lectures and instruction locally and internationally. Contact him at Will@cincyoga.com.