Monday, February 22, 2010
while still remembering the beauty.
the past two days of sunshine and (relative) warmth have been so good for my soul. it's nice to walk outside and not immediately brace myself for a gush of cold air.
it was such a full, happy weekend that included these things: taking restorative yoga (i am subbing the 6:30pm class at quiet mind this friday in columbia heights. come and get your relaxation on), taking a master class with dharma mittra (oh my that man is a bendy old man), making vegan mac 'n cheese for a lunar birthday potluck and stewed figs and greek yogurt for a family dinner at my dad's house (let's praise food too while we're at it--it's good to be eating again), i saw the barack stars with second city at the wooly mammoth with dear friends from missouri (solidly funny), finally tried the food at bread & brew and got to watch some curling in the process, teaching my favorite 3:30pm heated flow class at bloomingdale, saw u.s.'s first victory over canada (how is a country gonna win if they can't talk a little trash?). oh and on thursday i saw laura veirs play at iota. she's so talented and funny and looked like she was about to give birth right up on stage. within it all, i had some great company--i made a few new friends and spent time with warm, comfortable friends and family and just basked in their kindness and generosity and reciprocated with laughter.
today, monday, is cloudy again and feels like good time to do laundry, mail a few presents from india, eat leftovers and say bits of gratitude for the loveliness of my life. oh and i am still going to post more india pics...i think it will just be slowly...as it unfolds.
Monday, February 15, 2010
here are the first set of india pictures from one my first days in india. i'll post a few each day and that way it will be a bit like you were right there traveling with me. this set is from when cj and i met a gem seller in his tiny closet of a shop in puttaparthi (outside of bangalore). after a few days in india, i got the sense that everyone there fancies themselves a bit of a clairvoyant and in this fashion, our friend (whose name sounded so much like chipotle that we just started calling him that) greeted us by reading our palms and telling us which of our chakras were blocked off.
it's funny to me that i've had such an abundance of mystical experiences in this past year that i don't even want to listen when some guy off the street starts telling me that i'm about to come into a great fortune and will meet the man i'm going to mary this year. so cj was a little bit more into listening than me but he seemed harmless enough so we decided to visit his family's farm, about two hours away. the above pictures are of his girlfriend and our driver and the other scenery on the way out of town.
on another note, i watched the documentary "fierce grace" which is about ram das (the author of "remember be here now" and a big radical yogi guy in the 60/70s who went to india and started his yoga practice when he was fired from teaching at harvard for doing "psychological experiements" with fellow professor timothy leary). a few years ago he had a bad stroke and as he was laying hovering close to death, he said he felt nothing spiritual, only saw the hospital lights above him. since then, he's been in speech and physical therapy and has had to come to terms with how this aging looks nothing like he thought it would. throughout it all he maintains (in a slow & awkward cadence filled with random but oddly perfect analogies and metaphors) that this stroke was a gift from his teacher marajaji to teach him just how much farther he had to go to get close to god.
the idea that struck me most from him is that our suffering is what brings us close to god. i think it's easier to feel blessed when things are going well. it's like we are doing something and being rewarded. but maybe it is the opposite. i met another man in india who told me that it was during the hardest years of his life that he felt most loved by god because he knew he cared enough about him to improve him. because if we don't suffer then we don't look within and we don't grow. i have seen in my own life that from time to time my happiness does dry up and then i need something meatier to sustain me and that is always a feeling of connection to life, a wide-eye awe of how big and beautiful and disturbing life is and how it is always the perfect teacher.
so on my second to last day of my cleanse when i woke up with a headache and worries about money and the future and if i am making a mistake by not wanting to go to grad school, i needed to remember it's good to have mornings like this. it's good to question, to doubt, to struggle, to flail and feel like a victim, because if you want it to, it will take you to a stronger place. and it's good to have people who have already figured some of this out--it makes my own figuring out feel a little softer.
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
"and do not change. do not divert your love from visible things. but go on loving what is good, simple and ordinary; animals and things and flowers, and keep the balance true. "
- rainer maria rilke
due to the snow and jetlag and the master cleansing, i've been a bit behind on telling you all about india. in a word that i am not the first to use, incredible. so many good things happened and a few things happened that i still don't totally understand. i have pictures to show some of this, which will follow. but tonight i am just into the sound of the wind playing around with the snow...the sound of people staying indoors and DC feeling a bit out of control. this week has taught me that mother nature, once again, wins. this time she's made it cold and pretty.