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10 December 2008

meditation



"We hardly ever listen to the sound of a dog's bark, or to the cry of a child or the laughter of a man as he passes by. We separate ourselves from everything, and then from this isolation look and listen to all things. It is this separation that is so destructive, for in that lies all conflict and confusion. If you listened to the sound of those bells with complete silence, you would be riding on it--or, rather, the sound would carry you across the valley and over the hill. The beauty of it is felt only when you and the sound are not separate, when you are part of it. Meditation is the ending of the separation not by any action of will or desire.

Meditation is not a separate thing from life; it is the very essence of life, the very essence of daily living. To listen to those bells, to hear [that] laughter...to listen to the sound of the bell on the bicycle of the little girl as she passes by: it is the whole of life, and not just fragment of it, that meditation opens."

(pp. 20-1, Meditations, Chennai, Krishnamurti Foundation India, 2000)



My recent experiences with yoga studios have caused me to draw inward and reflect on human nature. as my teacher told me, I should accept that sometimes there are no answers.

The lines "We separate ourselves from everything, and then from this isolation look and listen to all things. It is this separation that is so destructive, for in that lies all conflict and confusion..." are the operative words for me in this quote. even in the so-called yoga community we separate ourselves from each other and become dogmatic. that is NOT what yoga practice is about in my humble opinion, yoga is about opening up to greater things. and what are those greater things? more students? money? I have a website but I've never been good at marketing myself, it's just not my thing. frankly, the chase for more money and more students gives me pause and leaves me cold. is that what yoga in America has become, the constant chase for "more"? more classes, more students, more yoga jewelery, more $80 yoga pants? and when you get more classes and more students, are you then happy? or does the chase begin all over again for more? even meditators chase after more meditation experiences. Chogyam Trungpa called it spiritual materialism.

A friend told me "I think you belong in India where it's real. There's too much of nothing around these parts." I've been to India three times and I can tell you it's really real, life and death on the streets, in your face 24/7. I've been invited to live there. but India has it's own set of problems just like anywhere else and people certainly claw and scratch for "more" just like we do here. but somehow it's bit different, at least to me it is.

So these experiences with the studios have caused me to step back and evaluate my life. I know it's my dharma to teach, I'm just not sure if it's here because I do long for something more "real" and for something "deeper." I think it is also my karma to walk this path alone. another friend told me that Kali is testing me, that I must hang in there because the ride has just begun. she said that now my karmic playing field has been emptied from the trash and that I'll see what comes to fill the void.

I have two trips to India planned. one is a year from now, two months at a south Indian ashram studying yoga therapy with a swami. the second is 2010, the Kumbh Mela in Haridwar, the largest spiritual gathering in the world. I really don't like to plan that far in advance, but I just offer those plans to the Universe and see what comes up, if it happens, it happens. I know in my bones that something will happen to me at the Kumbh.

Maybe my void will be filled. and if I die there, at least I will be next to the Ganges, my body can be burned and returned to Mother Ganga.

But for right now, I will rest and meditate and not look outward for more. my answers are within.



8 comments:

blisschick said...

I like the point in the quote about all sound being sound worth hearing with our full attention. So if I sit in my city yard, I can choose to be annoyed by the dog barking, or I can see it as part of my natural soundscape and listen even more deeply, thus discovering the birds chirping under the dog barking and finally the silence, the breathing of mother earth underneath the birds chirping.

And I think of this in relation to your feelings about the yoga world in the West. Perhaps you are not supposed to go where it might feel "better?" Perhaps you are meant to be the bird chirping under all the dog barking? Which would mean, of course, that you continue to chirp whether that dog is barking or not -- that dog barking, really, has nothing to do with you.

svasti said...

Kali is an interesting patroness to have in one's life... she's my mahavidya. Which, when I found out, made so much sense.

I can't remember which sage yogi said it right at this moment but the quote is: 'Expect life to be uneven'

I'm actually planning on writing a post about breathing, that's kind of similar to what you're talking about in your first paragraph.

And I hear ya on the meditation front.

Even owning 'our' experiences (and Kali knows I have) as such, is a way of creating seperation. So, I write a bunch of shit about what happened? So what? It gets it out of my body and mind but then... I try to let it be. Not claim ownership so much for it all. Its better that way.

'More' is a curse, especially this time of year!! Its wanting for wanting's sake, and its a disease.

The void... is already full, by the way...

I too, hope to make it to Kumbh Mela in 2010. We shall see!

Linda Sama said...

Dear Anonymous:

I agree with what you say! "wherever you go there you are."

however, I am usually not in the habit of publishing anonymous comments as stated in "leave your comment." so if you will leave your name, I will publish your comment.

thanks for reading!

Linda Sama said...

"Perhaps you are not supposed to go where it might feel "better?""

maybe, blisschick, maybe. however, if I don't leave, then I might not ever know, eh?

Linda Sama said...

svasti, Kali Ma never leaves me...her eyes are tattooed on my arm!

and I agree with what you say.

as for the Kumbh, let's stay in touch...I am going with a friend and we're looking for other like-minded souls. she's done 8 trips to Ma India, I've done 3, so we're good travelers.

Linda Sama said...

@anonymous: one more thing....what you said was true, however, there is also truth in the power of place. and some places have more power than others.

YogaforCynics said...

My introduction to meditation and the whole Easter philosophy thing came from friends who were in the process of graduating to the spiritual thing from the acid thing (though, I think, for the most part, they kinda blended the two, instead). It was from these friends that I got an overwhelming sense that meditation was precisely about separation, about ESCAPE from a world we never made. At the time, that was exactly what I wanted to do as well, so it seemed like a good idea. And, for what it's worth, I found that sitting in meditation from when you take a hit of acid until you start getting off can really take the edge off. Nonetheless, not surprisingly, drugs actually were far more effective for the running-away-from-life thing. Now, however, past the drugs, and having gone through a lot of therapy as well as growing up a bit, I think I'm finally working on getting away from separation....

Linda Sama said...

AS NOTED ABOVE ANONYMOUS COMMENTS AND COMMERCIAL WEBSITE LINKS TO YOGA SCHOOLS, ETC. WILL NOT BE PUBLISHED