During my yoga class this morning, as I lay in Shivasana pose, attempting to rid my mind of pesky thoughts, an image of the donkeys moved into view. They were standing in the winter sun, as they often do, with their thick winter coats ‘fluffed up’ (How do they do that? When a bare hand is held lightly on the coat, the heat that it traps tickles the skin.). At that instant I became aware of a palpable feeling of relaxation: it was the stillness of the donkeys that was serving to soothe.
No matter the season, donkeys pass a significant amount of time each day just standing still. I used to wonder what they might be thinking during those times but, then, after I started to practice yoga my impression changed. I have concluded that, like yogic stillness, it is for them, as it should be for us, about be-ing. Breathing in and breathing out. Living in the now. That is the gift of life.