December 10, 2012: Where Did the Today Go?
Today flew by in a flash. I don’t know how it happened. I made it to morning pooja at 5:30, yoga at 6:30, my hour-long walk at 8 all went as I planned. Breakfast is where things began to tangle up. I didn’t love the meal being served (steamed plantains, fruit, and steamed dough with sweetened shredded coconuts, fresh coconut water to drink) so after nibbling at it for a while I asked for a small bowl of porridge. By the time I finished everything and spoke to L-H for a bit, Esther came around so I chatted with her. Then I was soon joined by the New York trio S, E, and R, so I stayed to hear all about R’s turn at Vamana this morning. He was in good spirits after conquering Vamana and now has yet another fantastically funny story to add to his collection of interesting life achievements.
My morning gap-fest had me running late to my consultation with Dr. Abhijith at 11, which shortened my break between that appointment and my treatment at noon. After my treatment (still on pounding but thankfully it was my last day of it) I noticed that I had no running water in my cottage so I went to have lunch with all the oil still in my hair. No problem. Lunch was extra long (I had second helpings of rice and dal) with E, L-H, S, and I giggling and laughing for an hour talking about using our “female powers” and whatnot.
After lunch I had to quickly shower and get ready for L-H to arrive for our yoga date. She is new to yoga and wants to take a good morning routine home with her to Norway, but was having some trouble with the practice she was given. I worked with her to find out what didn’t work for her, made slight modifications to suit her, and put the poses back in a sequence that made better sense. Then it was off to 5PM yoga, which turned out to be pretty interesting. Our New York dancer C asked for some pranayama to be included and Shakti just ran with it- we did 45 minutes of pranayama and finished the class with 5 rounds of sun salutations. It felt like she was throwing in every pranayama she knew; I got so hot after rounds and rounds of kapalabati that I had to just stop after a while. After class I got to talking with C (found out she received her yoga teacher certification from YogaWorks like I did) and that’s how my whole day went. Chatty, chatty, chatty.
I think I will keep my dinner simple and quick, and return to my cottage for some alone time. When did I become such a social butterfly? Maybe it’s a Vata thing. Dr. Abhijith says Vatas tend to be talkers. My consultation was all about doshas today and whether it was related or not, Dr. Abhijith managed to correctly guess my blood type. What seems to me like magic or something mysterious, he says it’s all ancient knowledge from thousands of years ago. It’s the science of life!
December 11, 2012: Changes
As I was getting ready to have my delicious Indian breakfast (it was idly day) head of housekeeping came over to talk to me. Usually she asks if I want my room cleaned and I was going to tell her yes, but before I could get the words out she said “Today you change. You change to Kamalam.” I don’t know why I didn’t ask for the reason she wanted me to move to a different cottage but I said I would, sure. When I did ask later she simply said that a new guest was coming. This cottage gets more light but the layout is exactly the same and it’s the same price as the first one. Whereas I got more kitchen noise before (that darn blender is always working overtime) I now get more car engines and workers passing by. No big deal, I wasn’t too attached to the other cottage anyway. I switched cottages last year during my stay as well so I’ve now been to four different cottages here in two visits. I am in Kamalam now, which means lotus, Padma. Maybe for my last 10 days here at AYV I am meant to have different energy in a new setting and bloom like a lotus flower. Change is good.
S, being the kind and generous man he is, gave me a half dozen audio files of books and discussions by Jack Kornfield last night. I’d only read “A Path with Heart” during my yoga teacher training course back in 2006 and I was thrilled to have this chance to learn more. This morning during my walk I listened to the first 50-minute lecture on Buddhist Psychology entitled “grasping.” He starts off talking about the six senses, how we perceive our world, and the suffering we encounter because of our incorrect understandings and identification of things that surround us. It put a smile on my face because I recognized the same exact teachings from my studies at KYM last year. I found myself bobbing my head up and down in agreement with each step I took.
Seeds of greed and want, however big or small, can grow to be an ugly monster and become all consuming. It was so good to have this voice of reason accompany me this morning as I swerved, hopped, and skipped around puddles and cows. I am so grateful for this lesson and all the lessons that I know will come. The Buddhist monk I met last year during a weekend retreat in Korea told our group that just having our sleeves touch someone else’s as we walk down the street is a chance meeting that only comes once in ten thousand life times. What blessings and fate have brought me here to share this experience with this group and to receive such kindness from strangers?