For years in our Self-Reflection programs (affectionately called “Norman Programs” on the East Coast), I have been asserting that dressage is like meditation. Many of you may have no idea what dressage is or only learned about it through the spoofing of Ann Romney on The Colbert Report or The Daily Show during the last Presidential election season and for those people dressage is dancing with horses. If you have ever seen equestrian sports in Olympic coverage, dressage is the prancing – not the jumping.
In any event, dressage is like meditation because it requires an opening of the mind and awareness of the body.
I came across an article recently making this exact point and I forwarded it to Norman in an email triumphantly proclaiming proof of my theory. He wrote back . . .
“yes but then again everything is like meditation!”
I was momentarily deflated (although extremely tempted to argue that the “but” should be an “and” in that sentence).
I recounted this story in a support and development class a day or two later and received a chuckle or two. Later in that class we were discussing looping and I had an Aha moment . . . looping is like meditation. (OK, I know . . . Norman says everything is but let’s face it that probably is not true for most of us). Looping is like meditation because I am aware of my body but not caught in it. I am aware of internal responses to what is being said and I stay with the speaker. Looping is calming for me because it just is. I don’t need to do anything about what I am hearing. I just need to hear and accept someone else’s perspective. Like an itchy nose or tingling foot, my need to do something to fix the other person’s problem or shift them to a different place can be breathed through.
I have followed this thought since that moment and find it makes it that much easier not to try to solve spoken or perceived problems prematurely. It makes it easier to stay with them and not formulate my response in my head while they are still speaking. I’m finding that the idea holds. Looping is like meditation . . .