Thursday, December 2, 2010

Thursday Morning

Well, my time in Prescott is drawing to a close today. I need to gather my things, finish packing, practice asana, wet lunch and then head down the road to Tucson. I spent Most of the afternoon Monday cooking for a big meal we had at the ashram, Tuesday I drove Kelly to the airport in Phoenix and then started some more feast preparations for a meal planned for Wednesday. Wednesday started with an early wakeup to get out to the ashram by 3am. We spent the morning chanting, eating and sharing stories in honor of my teacher's guru, Yogi Ramsuratkumar, who the day is in honor of. Then I was in kitchen for the afternoon, in charge of the meal for 90 folks we had that night- we had rice and potatoes, green beans and coconut, squash curry, sanbar, chapatis, cilantro chutney, cranberry chutney, chai tea and rice pudding. Of course I did not make all of that myself but I did have the great good fortune to be the team leader for the project so that was super fun.

I really have had an amazing time being here. On one level it was rejuvenating (like when I was on retreat) but also a bit tiring and busy once the celebrations and so forth were in full swing and I was plugged into those activities and opportunities to serve, all of which were fantastic. One thing I am reconnected to from this trip is the deep love and affection I have for my sangha here. This has been the longest time I have sent here since I left and I really feel like I got knitted back into the life here again in a very real way- both internally and externally. And as a mentor and friend of mine commented to me yesterday, " it is great to have both."

The structure of my life actually demands that I stay connected inside myself to what matters to me. I do not get an easy connection and continuity from outside routine and structures right now. Because of the amount I travel, I meditate almost every day but never at the same time. I practice asana almost every day but never at the same time or in the exact same way because my outer circumstances are so variable (people often try to get me to tell them about my practice and I can rarely give a satisfying answer to them because there is no normal. Normal has become varied. And my relationship to practice no longer follows external definitions like it used to. Several years ago when asked, I could say, "well, I teach every morning at 9-10:30. I practice every day from 11-1 and then have lunch."

This is especially true in the domain of friendships. I rely heavily on those people in my life who can continue to stay connected to me and me to them without regular, daily or even monthly contact. If, when someone doesn't see me or hear from me for a while, they begin to doubt our connection, begin to anchor themselves in my faults and shortcomings and project all kinds of meaning onto the fact I am not physically present, then that is a person I just can't have in my life right now. Not in a close way anyway, I just do not have the mental/emotional bandwidth for that, so to speak. Or even the time, to tell the truth.

But what is very cool that I have a very good handful of those people in my personal and professional network who I can call and connect with as though no time has passed, who are busy themselves and do not use the busy-ness to avoid intimacy but are able to maintain a heart connection with me and the people they love without regular face to face contact. It is essential.

And yet, wow, when we have a chance to connect face to face, to weave ourselves into a group effort, to work and serve and play together in person then it is a super thing. That is always how it is when I get together and teach with someone, when we meet at a workshop or when I teach at one of my friend's studios. And that is how it has been for me being here. My connection to my teacher has always been deeply internal and not dependent on seeing him and the support I feel from the sangha is the same way. However, there is a nectar in physical presence, in continuity of life together that is very special and deeply nourishing.

Yep, it is nice to have both.

Sent from my iPad

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