We had a really fun day yesterday.
I woke up early due to the time change, practiced meditation and then had a time for a long asana practice as well. Soham, our host, came home with some lovely Danish baked goodies so after a wonderful and rich breakfast we showered and made our way out into the world. We drove about an hour north through Elsinore and out to the Hamlet's Castle which had many fun and silly moments and learned some interesting educational tidbits regarding castle life and the values people had at the time. The tour took us down into the casements- this underground tunnel system where the soldiers lived. Suffice it to say that their living conditions were somewhat horrible and it was sobering to reflect on how short a time ago it was that people lived like that. Two thousand men were crammed into the underground system with no heat, no ventilation, no light, no showers, toilets and so on. Wow.
And yes, I know there are still places in the world where people live in what I would consider sub-human standards and so it was not just something that happened in 1700 but even still so often our well meaning liberal conversations focus around how messed up things are and to think it was 350 years ago- which is not a long time ago- they thought soldiers were not really human and so on is interesting to me. Add into the story that in India around this time, there was a kind of flourishing of very high minded ideals in certain areas. Of course during the time of that Renaissance spiritually, there were still widows throwing themselves on funeral pyres as acts of ritual suicide which was socially and religiously condoned. Anyway, it's always intriguing to think about these things and about how consciousness is evolving and in what ways it is and isn't and in what ways the evolution manifests in culture. Also important is to place the yoga teachings which we revere into the time and place in which they originated and not to assume things about them from our current cultural biases and so forth. For instance these were not originally teachings of social equality although now social action is almost always paired up with yoga and certainly with modern Buddhist streams.
After the casements, we visited the upstairs part which was where the king and queen and their attendants lived. This was, of course,a different story.
All in all it was a fun time. We drove home, had a wonderful lunch from a local Italian deli and then Soham went to teach and Kelly and I hunkered down for the evening. I fell asleep early, woke up super early and then fell back asleep. Next thing I know Kelly is saying to me:"Guess what time it is?" Of course I couldn't guess so he told me it was 11:00. Anyway, off to a late start today. Time for some asana, a walk about town and then at 5:00 we have a class. I teach a workshop this weekend and then the Immersion starts Monday. Good times.