Notes of Interest

Jai Bhagwan!

A bit of personal reflection this morning.  While in Florida, my ego quickly revealed itself in full glory during morning practice.  Gurudev was leading us through the second half of the postures and Chandrakant was leading us through extended holding of the first half of the postures.  Gurudev then began speaking during the first half as well as the second half.  Without warning my mind echoed with, “Make the old man shut up!”  I was shocked at myself, I adore this man and that sense of love for Gurudev welled up in me and held my noisy ego at bay, mostly, for the rest of the practice.  I told him about this event later that morning and he laughed saying, “Well that’s good, it was your mind saying it so I forgive you!”  My ego’s voice became quieter and weaker during the rest of my time in Florida.

I determined that I would continue with a daily morning practice, moving through the sequence from memory rather than using a recording.  Because I was relying on memory now, the chatter of my mind was incredibly loud.  I have found, though, that as I remain committed to my sadhana that ego is again beginning to retreat; however, now something new has appeared:  Solutions.

Yesterday at staff meeting, I purposed beginning a series of introductory classes.  One of my fellow instructors wants to participate and to also hold intro classes for her Vinyasa classes.  She offered to help make adjustments while I was teaching about Amrit Yoga and the poses used in my classes.  This did not sit perfectly with me but I needed time to figure out why and how to work with the situation.  I thought about it a little and then let go of it.  This morning as I practiced the answers slid gently into view:  I was uncomfortable because I want to be very specific in what the alignment of each posture is to be and, as my fellow instructor pointed out, the alignments in my class are slightly different than in hers.  The solution also slid into view:  Use my fellow instructor to model the postures while I make the adjustments!  I immediately began thinking about how this would work and what needed to be done next and I lost all connection with my body.

Dropping into and below strong sensation in my body as I hold a posture is becoming more and more second nature as I practice.  Stepping out of the chatter is also becoming easier.  This new development, however, seemed much more inviting, enchanting, disintegrating and difficult to handle; so much so that I started writing to some of the senior teachers for advice.  I want these ideas, they are not merely the drivel of the mind BUT they unhinge my practice.  As I wrote my email to Kamini and Eric—those senior teachers I mentioned—a very interesting thought arose, “What would I tell one of my students if they posed this question to me?”  I did not finish the email.

What would I tell one of my students?  I would tell them the same thing I have told them many times in the past:  Watch the thought come into view and let it go.  If it’s worth keeping, it will be waiting for you at the door as you leave.  If not, then it will be gone.  Either way, don’t worry about it.  What does that mean in practical terms?  Keep a notebook handy as you practice.  As you finish—not during your practice, not ever during your practice—write down quick notes about what you experienced and what thoughts came to mind.  As you continue doing this, the fear of forgetting those “important” ideas will become less and less as your trust in your ability to capture those thoughts on paper after practice increases.  Does it work?  I have no idea because I have not fully tried the experience yet but I will keep you posted.