We learn to operate sensations and emotions with a playful, open attitude, and
everything becomes relaxation.
Tarthang Tulku Rinpoche,
Kum Nye Relaxation
When we develop the core skills of Kum Nye, life becomes an adventure. We begin to explore the universe within, and we discover that habitual reactions to unpleasant circumstances are not the only way life has to unfold. We develop the ability to pause, and we have the tools to insert the responses of our choice into the space created by pausing.
What we usually do
An example. You wake up with a familiar, uncomfortable feeling, a sense of unease in your belly. Sometimes this feeling is quite subtle; you may not even really tune into the fact that the physical feeling is there. You may have already turned it into a mental event, and are describing it as a mood. You may respond in one of several ways:
- You purposely try to suppress it and make it go away.
- You go to the gym and workout or go for a run – that makes it go away for a while
- You choose to connect it to something your partner has done, like not take out the trash, and you then choose give them a hard time about it
- You choose to connect it to the unpleasant things happening at work, and you call your best friend and talk about that for an hour
- You choose to eat something unhealthy (sweet or salty or fried or fatty) until the feeling goes away
- You have a drink of your mood altering substance of choice – coffee, alcohol, energy drinks, you know what works – you’ve done it before.
The problem with the talking or making it go away is that it will come back. It usually does. On whatever day it comes back, you’ll have to do the same thing again.
What we’d like to do
Choose. Have the space to experience what’s happening and choose a response. We relax in the moment and allow things to unfold without grasping, without wishing things to be different than they are, without anxiety and worry.
Learning and practicing Kum Nye gives us the space to respond, to choose. With Kum Nye, we learn how to manage the body’s energy (and that’s all we are) during class and then we take that out into life. Then, you are living life, choosing the life you want instead of life’s currents turning you this way and that.
You swim through life, cradled by the water of experience.
This is the promise of Kum Nye.