1. It is like the heart is a very clever person, a brilliant person, who can only express himself through an infinite number of stupid persons. The stupid person of bowing, for instance
But each of those stupid persons, in that expression, becomes a brilliant person. An infinitely faceted person.
Until skewered on words.
2. When students ask the teacher about bowing, the teacher will often reply that it’s an expression of non-duality. We bring 2 apparently separate things – the hands – together. I’ve done this myself.
It’s not that the answer is wrong, but it’s incomplete.
We could equally say that when we bow, we de-centre the head. When I bow to you, I de-centre my self; I make myself an object in your world. And so, bowing is leaving the prison of the self and entering a cascade of lived, shared worlds.
This answer isn’t wrong either, but it’s incomplete. Because bowing’s expression is limitless.
3. How we view Ritual is the canary in the coal mine. If we misunderstand it, if we imagine that Ritual is language put into physical form – I bow to express gratitude, for example – then we cannot prevent that view gradually seeping everywhere.
Which is our end.