For February we will indulge in two subtle heart openers- one is Lojong, where the effort is on remaining concentrated and aware of the many Tibetan Buddhist slogans that bring us closer to experiencing enlightened compassion. The other, the physical pose, is Gomokasana arms. This pose is when we take one arm up in the air, bend the elbow and reach our fingers down between our shoulder blades. The other arm reaches down and then after the elbow bends we take that hand up between the shoulder blades too. The hands will reach towards the back door of the heart, and in some cases, in some bodies, will join there.
This pose is based on the strength required to move the elbows closer to the body- the top arm towards the head, the bottom arm towards the side seam. We often think it is our lack of flexibility that prevents the full expression of this pose. Range of motion depends so much on strength, beautifully demonstrated in this pose. Range of motion is also dependent on proper positioning. If we are not positioned correctly (in this pose the position being elbows close in to the body) no matter how flexible our shoulders are, our hands wont join. The forearms are just not long enough to span the space of our back. Much like Lojong, if our point of view is positioned on the sense of "I", and not closer in to the core of our being, compassion remains outside of our grasp. Our hearts will not join with the other. Lojong encourages us to shift our prospective to the Boddhichitta, which requires a certain type of strength and flexibility. Once in that arena our view is much different, and more lies within our reach.
The slogans as outlined by Pema Chodron are listed below. Take a look. See what is within your reach right now, and then what you are able to reach for at the end of the month.