Thursday, January 26, 2006

practice, all is...

I was slightly refelctive this morning while walking to the shala for the last time. I turned off the ipod and slipped it into my pocket suddenly struck with a church like reverence for the path I was on. Though I've found shortcuts and extended paths, I took the same route to the shala that I did when I first arrived. The non existent moon and a slight fog amplified sounds and sells. In the distance the call to prayer from the minarets and the bells and chants from the Krishna temple created a cacophany with subtle yet moving melody. Each in their turn, the dogs chimed in as I past them. I turned the corner to find waiting students poured out onto the street. I tossed my mat on the gound and joined them in the silent wait for the doorman, who always appears to have just rolled out of bed, to turn on the lights, open the doors and make his way to the gate.

I found my place in the shala next to a few kind familiars who each verified that it was my last practice with care and concern. Sarath played a few mantras on the soundsystem as people got settled. After a short while he turned off the soundsystem and walked to the stage with Guruji close behind. He made an announcement about the moon day and then Guruji began the chant. Guruji's count was quick but strong. My practice was a bit weak as I'm still struck with this resperatory infection but I simply took each asana moment by moment. I was a bit reflective, loosing my driste on occasion to gaze out across the room, taking in the bodies en mass, the colors of the mats, the pictures and the paintings on the walls. As I fumbled forward I charged anchors in each asana to create links to the shala and its energy. The painting of Shankaracharya and his disciples throwing me over the edge as it has for the past month.

The practice quickly came to a close, though it never ends. I changed and stood in line pay my respects to Guruji. I'll return to the shala this afternoon to say my thank yous and goodbyes. I drank in a coconut and chai at the corner with the same reverence found during my journey to the shala. The campfire and Vishnu flooded my mind and washed away the reflective nature of my reverence. Practice is all. I can't wait to roll out my mat again, though the next time I do so it will appear to be on the other side of the world.

More soon. Love from Mysore, ~G

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