Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Practice and reading Svoboda in India

I've a few things to finish up with from yesrterday's post but I'm not sure where I left off so please forgive any redundancy.

I practiced in front of Guruji up until Parsvottanasana when he got up to assist someone. At that same moment I was decended upon by Sharath who assisted me in Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana. He said, "very good" and moved on. From that point on I was on my own and made my way through the rest of primary. My Urdhva Danurasanas are attrocious! I haven't done them in a year and when I did they were usually with the assistance of Liz. I've a way to go before doing drop backs. There were a ton of other subtle realizations but I fear I've lost them for the most part as today's practice has taken precendence. That's one of the reasons I always have tried to write down a few notes after parctice. I practice day to day and try not to judge or reflect on the past during my practice. So, on with it.

I woke this morning and wrapped and taped my left toe tightly. The bottom of my left toe ripped open in practice yesterday. My feet are dry and this happens often back in Detroit during parctice. With the added dryness in Mysore I've got to really pay attention to it. I arrived right at 7 AM and there were about 15 people waiting. I sat on the bench and settled in. Sharath appeared at the door and pointed to the guy next to me, "you." He then pointed at me and said "you next" and motioned for me to come to the door. I've learned not to question the way of the shala (see registration), but I felt like a bit of an ass jumping ahead of the que. That's the way its done here though. A lesson to be integrated as I fumble towards equanamnity in all things.

My shala real estate of the day was smack dab in the middle of the room. The Suryas were smooth. As my body took in the heat of the room I got a solid baseline on breath and bandhas. As has been the case with my practice here I find that I can really disassociate with my body during practice and let the yoga do IT. This caught up with me though, as I let go a bit too much and had to rush back into consciousness when I couldn't remember what to do for Prasarita Padottanasana D. I stood there after C for a few breaths trying to figure out where I was and what I was supposed to do next. Good times, this yoga! :) I had no other hiccups, but I did have to come back into full consciousness as I moved into Navasana to begin the part of the primary that is still new to me. (My mind is slowly able to let go a few months after an asana is integrated physically i.e. there is no longer any physical resistance.) This was particularly true for the final seven asana in the primary that I'm now doing in Mysore.

It appears that Sharath is keepin an eye on me while there as today he verbally instructed me through Supta Konasana from across the room. Instructing me to move my hands from my toes to the outside of my feet. There's a discrepancy between Mysore and Swenson for those keeping track. :) He also kept an eye out during Supta Padangusthasana. It apppears that he and Guruji leave the shala around 8 so I was on my own for the remainder. Saraswathi had her hands full with drop backs. I'll have to stop writing about Urdhvas until they get better. Non-attachment, right?

Practicing at the shala is just wonderful. The intense energy is balanced with a clarity that just allows for focus in the midst of 80 people all doing their own "thing." Faces are starting to look familiar. I'm learning a few names, which I'm typically horrible with! There's talk of getting a group together to make a few trips out of the city to various sites, temples, etc. I'm really happy to see a few familiar faces from New York as well. I've not been writing as much as I thought I would while here, but there is so much to take in it seems a shame to sit with a pen. If it is supposed to it will come.

Last night I did find time to read a bit. Reading Svoboda in India gives his already poingnant work even more umph! A few tidbits that stood out:

"If you desire God you will eventually get to God: about this there is not one iota of doubt. How long it takes you to get to God, how much of a gap there is between your desire and its achievement, depends on how much you want God. Once you become really anxious to locate God and your mind becomes focused on this desire you can achieve it without much delay." (pg 55)

"The first sutra of the Brahma Sutras is 'Atha ato brahma jijinasa,' which means, "'Now there is a sincere desire for knowledge of the Ultimate.' The Brahma Sutras have already existed for thousdands of years, and will probably continue to exist for thousands more. The use of the word atha ('now') here indicates that there is no limitation of time when it comes to spiritual advancement. Whether it is today or ten thousand years into the past or one million years into the future, atha means 'whenever there is a sincere desire for spiritual knowledge.' 'Now' is thus different for everyone. Right now is the 'now' of the Brahma Sutras for those of us who are trying to grope our way back to God in spite of the terrific Maya which assials us." (pg 55)

Those of you familiar with my work on time will know where I am going with this line of study. And yes, being in Mysore is adjusting my hypothosis and will alter the project a bit. Though it in no way alters the foundation, it will adjust the semantics quite a bit. It always comes down to translation and mitigation from the divine "other" to the "I," doesn't it? :)

So, enough! Mysore is beautiful today. There's a slight breeze and though I have no idea what it is, the tempurature seems perfect whether standing in shade or sun. I've been listening to the ipod as I type, but its time to turn off the west and go to Tina's for a cooking class with a few of the New York people I met this morning. Today's class is on making Masala Dosa! I'll have to have a get together when I get back and make some of the local dishes. That's probably it for today. Love from Mysore, ~G

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

JOhn and I will supply the Naan, and other dainties, if you bring the knoweledge! I am sure there are more Detroiters who would be down!
- Love from Detroit