As I’m want to do, I was contemplating what a practice is and why one would participate in a practice. For some, practice is a preparation for something else — a team might practice to prepare for a game, like training; a troupe might practice to prepare for a performance. In a sense, this way of looking at it focuses on the practice as a means to some end that comes later.
In my own practice, I’ve realized while this is true, this is only part of the story. I consider, “If I had all the resources (money, food, clothing shelter, etc.) I needed and I could choose to do anything with my time, would I still practice?” And the answer is a resounding yes.
When I was a child I had these Christian thoughts about life — living for the glory of god. In a sense, that never changed — I still live for the glory of god. It’s just that my understanding of god has shifted from this dude that looked something like jesus with a glowing aura about him to this state of being one with all that is.
This state of being — flow state or god state as I call it — is something I experienced in church. Not during the sermon or when I receive holy communion but when I sang harmoniously with the rest of the choir and we created music that was… heavenly. No, not because of the words, but because we were connected with the sounds and with each other. We flowed brilliantly! It didn’t matter what we were singing about (at least not for me) so much as it mattered that in the process some part of me (Isa) disappeared and I was a part of a greater whole (the choir) in which I began to understand that the sum of the parts is greater than the whole.
As I grew older and no longer believed the parabals of the bible — at least not literally — I struggled with understanding god. Because I stopped going to church, I no longer had this means of communing as I had. I connected with piano and to some extent, I had that same experience, but I still felt disconnected from god.
Later I dabbled in different religious ideas… moved through pagan beliefs and rituals… then moved to hyper rational thinking and various shade of agnosticism and atheism. Still, that consistent connection to god state was missing and it is only in retrospect that I can see that.
Since taking on Temple of Poi as a business and my poi and flow practices as a lifestyle choice and religious practice, I have and maintain that sense of god in my life. The easiest way for me to access that heavenly state comes through my flow practice and, when I’m lucky, I get to experience it for sustained periods of times.
This is what brings me to my practice again and again — for the possibility of losing myself and finding something greater than me alone within and through the practice.
written by Temple of Poi Founder, GlitterGirl