Remember some time when you were able to fall gladly and wholly; into someone’s arms, into a pile of leaves, or of pillows, into water or through air, allowing your body to feel itself surrender completely to the pull of gravity. When you were an infant you knew this. A baby falls without fear or tension. It loves nothing better than to be tossed in the air and caught again. Being relaxed it also seldom gets hurt. Babies have a remarkable ability to bounce.
As we grow up we learn fear, tension and resistance; we fight against the call of gravity. We land stiffly and injure ourselves; experience and expectation come to reinforced each other. In learning Aikido the first task is to learn to fall again, to fall in ways that allow us to bounce, to give in to gravity in ways that don’t injure us. Learning this we can release tension and fear and begin to enjoy falling again.
As adults, most of the time we are fighting gravity, which is an expression of the Earth’s attraction for us. Standing, or sitting we are using hundreds of muscles to resist her pull and find balance. Letting yourself go, surrendering into the pull of gravity, as a stone does when it falls, allows the body to find a deep level of relaxation.
Remember what this feels like, the feeling of falling. Let go for now any fear of a hard landing; feeling any tension in your body, breath and let it dissipate. It is the tension in the body that closes down the spaces for the blood to flow, the chi to flow, until it goes numb and lifeless. Use your sense of relaxation and surrender, to let the body open, let the heart open, let the mind open; release, let go, and you will find yourself full of spirit, full of life, full of joy.
Feel into yourself, your chest and body. Notice any tension there and fall into it, fall through it. You might imagine you are falling into the vast openness of your own heart. Relax and let go, over and over. Feel your heart begin to open with love and joy and fall into that. When you fall into yourself there is always a soft landing.
I had a dream many years ago, standing in front of a circular pool of blackness, I jumped into it. As if falling into a pool of water, only as I entered that pool, I felt that the darkness was inside me, in all the spaces between me, and I was somehow held and supported by it. Full of joy I could relax completely into it. I knew I was safe.
Just as the earth pulls on your physical body, the divine is calling to your soul. Allowing yourself to let go of tension, of fear, of all the little resistances and attachments; fall into that pull, fall into your heart, into Love and it will take you home to yourself. Just as you always fall towards the center of the Earth, you will always fall towards the center of your Self, which is Source.
Follow the feeling of letting go and falling, knowing that falling into grace you are always supported. Let’s meet in that place soon.