Sunday, May 1, 2011


Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Mysore anymore.

So, what does one’s practice look like back here on this side of the rainbow?

First thing, you’re gonna hurt yourself when you insist on doing everything you once did. And that’s going to remind you, eventually, of what you were supposed to be remembering all along: this isn’t really a physical practice we’re engaged in, even though it often seems to start and end with the body.

Hard to believe: a person might not actually be able to devote him or herself with the same single-minded devotion to the inward journey while simultaneously being a caring and present member of the hometown community as he or she did back when the most complicated question of the day was whether to have the full lunchtime thali or just go a la carte.

So, the question once again, in another form, is: what form does devotion take when one is devoted to more than just the inwardly-focused devotion?

I believe, as do others, that you still put in the mat time, six days a week, even if how you’re spending that time isn’t as impressive to your ego as it was at other times.

It’s a gift, of course, to be forced by your lower back and/or knees and/or wrists and/or neck and/or wherever to examine yourself in a new light, even if—especially if—those new shadows aren’t as flattering to you as the ones cast by the Indian sun.

Unfortunately, we can’t choose which particular impermanence we’d prefer would stick around. If in, let’s say, three or four or (more typically six) weeks from now I’d like to not have my obterator internus muscle clench like a fist every time I do caturanga dandasana after a forward bend then I guess I’ve also got to be sanguine about the current state of affairs as a change from what used to be a mere couple months ago, right?

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