Thursday, December 04, 2003

On Ohio 

Traces of sadness, as I say goodbye to Eddie, students, and school, for a week. Have long day and evening ahead of me (travel day) so it will be my day of “rest”; especially being that we’re practicing Saturday and on next week’s moonday. School very busy again today, several newbies, and people returning from Mysore or wherever they went for their earlyspring tans. It’s not sunk in that in just over 24 hours I’ll be flying over the country, landing in the middle of the Midwest and staying there for five days. Will really miss cat and practice and Eddie and shalafolks, although I’m pretty sure that once I get there I’ll be happy to be there and learn and rest like I need to.

"That was a heroic effort”, Tim said. You are all heroes- you have to be, to do this practice. Or something to that extent. After the sanctity and smoothness of my school, my pre-dawn practice, everything here seems too bright, unforcused, too harsh, loud. Will settle, retreat. Regroup.

My work this week, it seems, is to curb judging others. It's been a lot of work, and not entirely successful work, at that, compounded by a Mysore practice where eyes were everywhere, breathing ostentatious- and almost everyone went way further than they would've been allowed. What business is it of mine? None. I just did my practice as the strugglers and grunters kept going long after I was through with finishing postures. I was incensed, but less since Tim let each student do what they needed to do. We all have our paths, right?

4/13/03- Hanuman’s birthday
Last day. I’m clinging, grasping each moment with Tim as the last ones this trip slip through my fingers. It’s been pretty cool, and I’m happy with my choice to come here. It’s been an interesting ride. After last couple of days’ Mysore practices, we did another “improv” class that ended up being, after Surya Namaskaras A, B, and what Tim calls “C” which is a vinyasa of standing poses, pretty much the entire Intermediate Series, minus the headstands/plus some research poses. What made today really special was that we commemorated Hanuman's birthday by doing some singing to him; short and unrehearsed as it was, it felt pretty special.

It’s been wonder-full. Every day, replete with information and affirmation. No conflict just, complementary forces and an ever- expanding ability to love and respect yet another conveyor of my lineage’s traditions. I have so much to learn, so much I can learn from this man also. A softness and ability to forgive that are often lacking, both in my practice and my interactions with others. Secure enough in your beliefs, your practices, to not have to lash out or defend yourself against any and every one who poses a threat, whether perceived or real. Let people practice full Primary or do asanas from Intermediate whose names they don’t know- sooner or later they’ll come up against something that will prove a useful lesson to them. Or not. All I can, and need, to do is continue my own path, all the good work I know I’ve done and need to do. Try and stay humble while reaching, ambitious without pushing. Good work, it is. As for the rest, well, it’s for the rest to figure out and work through. I’m good with where I’m at, somewhat aware of areas that could use a tweak or three. Like not pushing so hard: not with myself, not others, both with my asana practice and as I attempt to form relationships. Again, a lesson in gentleness and kindness, an infusion of laissez-faire and que sera sera-ness. I’m so very-very grateful I’ve had the chance to come here, do some work, find some resolution on the issues I really contended with earlier in my stay.

Some talking that resonated:
... your yoga practice is not supposed to be a sophisticated way of beating yourself up... find a way of developing a nurturing practice

...enlightenment is not necessarily an event; it's a process

...kapha enough to need the practice, pitta enough to actually *do* the practice!

… relaxation is really the key to pranayama

...on learning by doing, learning from the inside out rather than have stuff force-fed to you... meticulous attention to minutiae in practice feeling more like a vitamin than a meal... the age of the dilettante with superficial understanding of many things...

Q: How loud should the Ujayi be?
A: Louder than the internal chatter!

To be the watcher rather than the doer. Because you're doing less, it's easier to develop that capacity for relaxed observation...

... One of the things we're always looking to do in practice is to reduce effort- 50% effort, 50% surrender.

How, in youth, making things happen.... versus learning to allow things to happen.

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