Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Ramayana week 

I know, I know. After quitting the requisite dayjob and running off to India and embracing some of the lifestyle I adjusted to and learned to live there, I said never again will I sit under skies of fluorescent in front of computer next to phone. No more office jobs.

Soft yellow room with three sky-filled windows. Outside, trees and shrubs and rolling grassy hill sloping down to the lake and forest beyond. Spindly-legged fawn nibbles on low branches, tail swishing. Inside, Joni Mitchell sings. Cool breeze lights on sun-warmed skin. Bowl of newly-plucked white and purple hibiscus blossoms on uncluttered desk a warm welcome to everyone who pops in to bring a treat, a hello, an invoice, a story. I am here to smile, advise. To listen, really listen.

Have been spending my Mondays working at the office for the Yoga Society of New York’s Retreat Center, in the foothills of the Catskill Mountains. Sounds a tad more palatable to the folks back in Greece than “the ashram”. Which it is, also. They love having me in an office. I love being in the office. Welcoming and reassuring and organizing- but only fleetingly. Love that my lunch hour is spent bikini-clad by the pool. Hang out with new friends. Then I get to climb back on the proverbial cloud (or broomstick) and zoom back into the City, my little place, the shala, the restaurant. All my lovely worlds, in a balance rarely encountered, much less cultivated daily. Together with the ability to be joy-filled and giving in every realm. Most days, anyway.

Zym-dad called from Chios earlier. They miss me. It’s been cloudy. So, what’s the lesson of the week? Not much new going on. Except that there is a shift shifting and sliding open doorways to a more fulfilled life. Along with my yoga teacher, my dayjob boss taught me to be truly organized (only in the work-realms- could still use a personal assistant, most days) and focused and deal with people. Now, I am learning how very important it is to have fun every day. Coworkers, friends, patrons, guests, strangers, neighbors, classmates. Having a laugh does not in any way diminish my abilities and character as a person, friend, helper, server. Teacher. Took me a while, hunh. As a matter of fact, I have a hunch that it enhances the very qualities I thought once might be threatened if I were not “Stamatiya” all the time, the more serious all-shanti reserved other me. Luckily, I have tons of Tina-elements to conjure up to make it lighter, sillier. More irreverent. Accessible. Aah, bless us libras. It’s all relationship exercises anyway, isn’t it?

Last year, I had to work through the big outdoor dance-drama production of the Ramayana. This year, opted to Not Earn and be here. I belong here, when I am here. As a matter of fact, might even appear in it. Was originally going to be one of the villagers in a triumphant reception of Rama, doing the Kathak dance thang. Then two weeks sped by with no rehearsals. Now they want me to be a queen. This will probably change again. As long as I get to dress up and be in it, I care not who I am onstage. Although I'll pick the purple silk saree over the orange cotton kameez any day. Jai shri Rama!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Guru purnima 

Today is Guru Poornima. Last year I stayed at the ashram, chanted the guru stotram and reminisced about the year prior when I was in Mysore with our guruji. This year, I chose to leave upstate early and join my friends and fellow practitioners at the shala. Sweet, because we were all together and honoring our teacher. Sad, because we were not together with him. Maybe I can make it so that the '07 pilgrimmage falls on one end of the birthday celebrations. Just to be there and thank him.

Brahmaanandham Parama Sukhadham Kevalam Jnaanamurthim
Dhvandhvaatheetham Gagana Sadresham Tathvam Asyaadilakshyam
Ekam Nityam Vimalam Achalam Sarvadhee Saakshibhutham
Bhavaatheetam Trigunarahitham Sadguru Tam Namaami
Sadguru Tam Namaami

Other than today, have been so happy to be exactly where I'm at. Every day.

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