Trail Maintenance

I could have used path maintenance or route or road, but I like a nice hike on a well marked trail. They don’t stay like that if someone does not cut back overgrown brush and repaints the signs, and removes fallen logs and rolling rocks. I feel like that is what Gregor Maehle has done for me in the interview he gave for Claudia Azula Altucher’s podcast. I know that this is probably the 4th time that I have mentioned it in social media, but we really do re-hatch and re- visit the same same over and over when we blog about what some call “our yoga journey”. So when new knowledge or perspective comes along it is at least for me, kind of very exciting. They way I write will not do justice to all the themes that are covered in the podcast. But suffice it to say that if you got stuck in the obsessive maintenance and smooth running of your vehicle ( which is a skill and work ethic I both admire and envy) but you forget where it is you heading with it, his is a very generous and valuable reminder of where the markers are in case you misplaced the map or are have been winging it (which is just another way of arriving really). I listened to the podcast without having read Gregor’s book on meditation. It is on order and this one is not going into the kindle.

Eyes Wide Shut

I’ve had a sitting practice of sorts (self taught with a class here and there) for longer than I’ve had a yoga practice. So today after I’m done with asana, pranayama (baby pranayama), and meditation, teacher comes over and tells me she noticed some tension in my eyes. It turns out that after two days in a row of doing everything that I’m supposed to do in my practice, I’m clinging so hard to the ritual that it shows in my eyes. So tomorrow as I am reciting my mantra, I will remember to gently lower my gaze even though my eyes are closed, because it seems I have been staring straight ahead through my eyelids with a bit too much laser like focus. Time to turn it down a notch Maria.

The Mind Has a Mind of It’s Own

According to Mark W. Muesse, a professor at Rhodes College in Memphis TN, and a lecturer for The Learning Co., that is the very first insight of Vipassana Meditation. It is seems so simple not to follow a thought, just watch its entrance and observe its exit without offering it a seat, some coffee and a cookie. Maybe because simple is a quality associated with clarity and erroneously associated with easy. We grow impatient when mindfulness is not routine and effortless, even with daily consistent practice. Does Enlightenment mark the cessation of effort, or is it the wholehearted embracing of effort? I am beginning to understand that for me the benefit of asana practice is waking up from the delusion that effort is unpleasant. Today the last poses before closing were unexpectedly harder than usual, but I was not disappointed by the amount of effort I was giving them. I was actually impressed and happy not to have checked out, hoping the next pose would be a lesser hassle. I was satisfied that I had engaged all thrusters (haha), giving it all I had.