Thursday, January 05, 2006

Slowing down

It's been a relaxing day in Mysore. I think that I am settling into the pace here and slowly letting go of the rushing about that usually consumes my time and energy. My thoughts are a bit clearer and I appear to be operating at a slightly higher level intellectually. That probably has everything to do with slowing down and being able to actually think rather than jumping about from one thing to the next. At the same time I'm attempting to let go of my standard over analysis. There's really not much to analyze here. If I were to really go into the details of the mixture of poverty and extreme materialism or the caste system and the attempt to replicate the west here I would be miss the subtleties. By accepting, without judgment, all I see before me I can glimpse what I perceive as the reality of this place. And seeing that, I think it IS possible that Maya sits a little bit lighter here than it does in the west. But really, while staring as the 'ugly american' in my biggest moving picture yet it's hard to tell for sure.

I woke up in the middle of the night full on convinced I had acquired, for lack of a better term, Ganesha's Revenge. (I try to be constantly mindful of the fact that Ganesh places those obstacles as often as he removes them.) I ate some questionable pistachio ice cream at a local restaurant and thought it might have been my downfall. I was quite concerned, but I managed to get back to sleep and felt fine when I woke this morning. My stomachs a bit gurglely but my stomach is like that most of the time in the states.

Practice was quite good. Sharath again pointed at me saying, "one more," as I walked in the door. I think I'm finding my Mysore stride for practice, extending my breaths and slowing the pace down a bit so I can really get into each asana. In my morning practice at home there is always work to get to, paying attention to time, tying not to take Savasana for too long, etc. I did manage to knock the Asian woman next to me out of Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana B as I was moving into Prasarita Padottansasna A. Opps! One more reason not to go completely "no mind" at the shala. This is what Tina called "high season" and it’s true. There are students everywhere and the shala is packed. Anyway, I got the full on bind in Baddha Padmasana without too much of a struggle. (You we're right on there, Matthew) Both of my arms went numb in the process, but I didn't loose the bind! :)

After practice I hit the coconut stand and knowing that it would be a while before Liz finished her practice I walked up to the chai stand, had a large chai and chatted with Shashi, one of the many body workers here. I think I'm going to schedule a massage in the next few days. Due to this high season stuff, I'm sure openings will fill up quickly. We walked down to Tina's when Liz finished and had breakfast. Tina is quite wonderful and so are the dosa with eggs!

Since then it's been pretty low key. Savita came by around noon to do the floors and our laundry. I'm still pretty weirded out by having a servant, but that is part of that non-judgment mentioned above. I am also aware that Savita wants to go back to school to learn to teach kindergarten and the money we are giving her will help her to do that. It is a pittance by the way. She comes to the house once a day and works for about an hour for 10 Rupees. Right now we're getting about 44 Rupees to the US Dollar. So she is making between 10 or 20 cents an hour. Of course, my first thought was that we would just give her a ton more money, but the problem with that is that it would undermine the balance of life here. Many of the discrepancies seen here stem from actions of that nature. But again, the subtleties are found by entering into, not making judgment. Yes, I'll admit to the struggle. :)

I've done a great deal of reading today.

(There is a huge cow out in front of the house mooing loudly right now. She sounds pretty bothered with something. I'm listening to Eno's Before and After Science. How freakin' surreal this place can be!)

I read more from Svoboda and a bit of study and meditation on the Isavasya Upanishad. "The face of truth is concealed by a vessel made of gold." According to the questionable translation I have this vessel is the sun. I would go further and state that the vessel is probably the sun AND all the light that reveals this reality. The fact that this particular verse is chanted at Hindu funerals is a nod towards its meaning.

I'm about to head out for the first time today. I'm going to roll by the shala and may sign up for an evening Sanskrit class. After that I'm meeting Liz at Anu's for dinner and I'm thinking about taking an auto into the city to do some clothes shopping for myself and Jeannine.

That's Mysore for today, ~G


serenity NOW said...

Our family appreciates reading your Mysorian stories. It has become a nice highlight to our day!

Sounds like you and Liz are having a great time...Life is Good...



Anonymous said...

At the end of each day I read your blogs, and like a child searching the forest for faeries I run downstairs and fill John and Luna in with alll the enchanting details! And of course all the other dear friends in Detroit who have been asking.

How extraordinary for you and Liz, I am so thrilled to recieve these tales!

Many Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Enjoy, relax, and enjoy the flow...
These are words that sing through in your classes, I know say onto thee!