Thursday, 9 April 2015

Take your seat


This is one of my favorite photographs. It was taken near the end of my trip to India last year, looking out over the sea in Kerala. My friend Sri had taken me boating on a lake of lotuses on his birthday, and then to an open air temple, for the deity Murugan. We sat on a huge rock overlooking the temple and the sea. The rock was warm from the day's sun, and the sun was now setting. I saw a Sadhu walking around the temple and heard him chanting, "Soham, Shivoham" ("I am that, I am Shiva, pure"). He climbed up the rock and sat near us, and started to practice kapalabhati pranayama ("skull-shining" breath). I felt, in a childlike way, "Wow, this is real—people do really practice yoga in this way I've been taught back in America". I felt touched to my soul, honestly. I closed my eyes, because. And then... it was like I let go of everything, except that there was no conscious letting go. I did not want anything. Everything was... here.

I don't know how long I sat there like that for, probably just a few moments. But it is an experience that I am profoundly grateful for; to have touched a moment of peace like that, even for just a second. And I find, to my massive relief, that I don't need to be in India in a beautiful sunset to touch these moments, even in a tiny way. I practiced yoga asana in the spring sun outside at the weekend for the first time since the winter came, having brought with it so much sorrow. It felt wonderful to be moving outside. As I sat quietly at the end I saw the shadow of daffodils on the patio as the sunlight shone on them, through them. I had a sense of, "I cannot deny this beauty any more than I can deny the singing joy in my soul to see this; and I do not want to!" It was lovely.

So, suffice to say... I wrote recently about the art of finding one's seat (you can think of it as an art or a habit or maybe both). The piece is about finding your seat when you're sitting down or standing on your head and even in everyday life. You can read it, here. I hope you like it.

Letting it be

“How much can it be about letting go and not trying to have a particular experience?”

My friend Seth asked this question in his yoga class, and it struck a chord. Here my piece for Conscious 2, about what it means to me.

Transformation

“You can pick all the flowers but you can’t stop the spring.”—Pablo Neruda

I wrote about the great mystery of transformation in this post for Conscious 2. You can read it here.