21 July 2009
For what is it to die, but to stand in the sun and melt into the wind? And when the Earth has claimed our limbs, then we shall truly dance.--Kahlil Gibran
Savasana is the dying that brings life so I've decided to slowly fade away. I may post sporadically, I may not. How can I not write about the goat sacrifices at the Kali temple in Kolkata or the naked Shiva babas at the Kumbh Mela next year? I'm bringing yin yoga to Africa next year which will surely be fodder for a yoga blog. But that's next year.
At this juncture I feel written out. I see on my site meter what brings people here and the most searched for phrases are "St. Theresa's Prayer" and some variation of "naked yoga" or "hot yoga chicks." Take your pick. If those are the only reasons people are consistently coming here, have at it. As the author of the book that I mention below writes: "All words are lies. At best, they point toward the truth. At worst they totally mislead and create confusion. We already know everything there is to know..."
For those of you who are interested in more than a dead saint's prayer or a photo of a naked yoga babe -- the juxtaposition of those two images is supreme -- you can start reading at the beginning of this blog. I've been writing since 2005 and I think I've laid down some rather pithy posts along the way, this one in particular being a favorite. Hey, maybe I can get a book deal. Or maybe someone will write my obituary in the yoga blogosphere -- R.I.P oh snarky one, we hardly knew ye.
There have been internal shifts going on for some time now and I'm going to honor them. Shifts with my yogic path, shifts with my relationships with friends and husband, shifts with my relationship to myself. It's all good because life is about change. If you don't evolve, you die, just like the dinosaurs. It's good to step away from things, whatever those things are, and let the chips fall where they may.
I wonder whether in this journey, instead of feeling more connected (as we are told we are "supposed" to feel the longer one does yoga or meditates), a consequence is feeling even more alone or apart from others. Not disconnected, but truly being in the world, but not of it. Sometimes I feel as if I am on a merry-go-round, and the faces of people I know are circling faster and faster away from me, eventually disappearing. They've stopped and I've kept going. As I've always said, people float in and out of our lives at specific times for various reasons and I stopped trying to figure it out long ago. It just is. The holding on (to anything or anyone) is what causes the suffering. My friends, it's time to move on.
I will leave you with some quotes from one of the post potent and powerful books I've read in my 30+ years of being on a spiritual path: Shadows on the Path by Abdi Assadi , a book I learned about on AnthroYogini's blog. If I had my own teacher training, this book would absolutely be on the required reading list. There are so many passages that I have underlined and highlighted, that if I cited all of them I would rewrite his entire book in this post. So I will just cite some sentences that have meaning to me right now, in my present experience.
"To undertake a spiritual quest as a defense mechanism against pain without addressing the underlying psychological issues will always lead to a deep splitting of one's psyche." (p. 19)
"In my own experience, every teacher I have had had been a perfect mirror of myself at that time....every new partner is an uncanny reflection of our subconscious needs and issues. ...I also learned that fully enlightened teachers who have worked through their personality distortions are incredibly rare." (p. 22)
"The important thing now is to do the work, to prepare the internal vessel for whatever truths may enter. Think of this as a process of simplification, not sophistication." (p. 23)
"Spirituality is a process of dying, not gaining. This important and obvious point is not often properly acknowledged. The spiritual path is about the death of the needs and wants of an insatiable ego and its endless cycle of desire, acquisition, suffering and renewed hunger." (p. 16)
"Grace is not a product of our willful volition but something that appears in spite of it. One of our ego's false presumptions is that it can lead us toward grace instead of understanding that we are already swimming in it. We need to let go to feel this -- but that means facing the terror of our best-kept secret: that we are not in control." (p. 74)
"I do know that to live fully we have to practice dying while still alive. Meditation is this practice. I invite you to practice daily, letting go of who you think you are and being born into who have you have always been." (p. 96)
I am going to practice dying.
MAY ALL BEINGS HAVE HAPPINESS AND THE CAUSES OF HAPPINESS
MAY ALL BEINGS BE FREE FROM SUFFERING AND THE CAUSES OF SUFFERING
OM MANI PEDME HUM