On the tenth day of Christmas,
my true love gave to me
ten lords a-leaping
The Ten are of course the Ten Commandments, the time-tested list of no-no’s held to be sacred to human society and human survival.
Must be something about ten that instills conscience. Step Ten asks us to continuing taking a daily moral inventory of ourselves and when we are wrong to promptly admit it. In other words, don’t let stuff pile up or you’re doomed to relapse. Yoga has the ten yamas and niyamas, which similarly instruct us not to lie, cheat or steal, to remain pure (indeed, chaste), to study, and to surrender to the Highest.
T’would seem that all tens lead to Rome, or Jerusalem, or the ashram, or rehab.
But amid all this seriousness, the lords are leaping. Leaps of faith? Perhaps, but I’m not convinced. Maybe they’re in
cahoots with the Irish jiggers (see Day 8).
I’ll segue here over to the Hindu myth of Hanuman (halfmonkey/half human in form, Divine in nature), who boldly leaps over the Ocean of Consciousness to reunite heartbroken Ram with his abducted wife Sita. Yogis the world round know Hanuman’s leap as the source, cause, and origin of one of the most feared asana: Hanumanasana, or the splits.
Yoga also says that ten forms of prana animate our being. The life force takes some interesting forms: moving up, moving down, moving all around, and causing such unconscious spasms as blinking and sneezing.
Tens in the vernacular have a pretty good rap: we’ve got
Ten to One