Once the realization is accepted that even between the closest human beings infinite distance continues to exist, a wonderful living side by side can grow up, if they succeed in loving the distance between them which makes it possible for each to see the other whole against the sky.

Rainer Maria Rilke Letters*

This distance feels like the same space implied in a namaste bow at the end of my yoga class. I am not bowing to a person, I am bowing to another being, whole, against the sky.

This distance creates a respect for the authentic self in front of you, regardless of what you think you know about them.

This distance is needed in observing focal dystonia in ourselves. Having compassion and respect for your own whole self changes the process of observation. Being as kind to yourself retraining as you might to a young student learning something new (see Beginner’s Mind) allows us to love that “infinite distance” and give us permission to see ourselves as whole.

* Rilke’s words are introduced and discussed in a beautifully written book by Myla and Jon Kabat-Zinn, Everyday Blessings: The Inner Work of Mindful Parenting.


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