Clean and Elegant

Clean and Elegant

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

The Vipassana Diaries: My Last Practice

On my way to Vipassana, I stayed overnight in Montreal. I mustered up the courage to show face at Darby’s Mysore, despite the un-spectacularness of my current practice.

Although at first it was somewhat liberating to just show up, I still felt apologetic as I fumbled through modified lotus postures, and remained mostly upright during forward bends. Darby didn’t say much.

Last year I went to Montreal to practice for two weeks. My knee was much worse then and the whole thing was a struggle.

After practice one day, I blubbered about how I was way happier when my practice was way shorter. The primary series was too long, too painful.

“Well,” said Darby. “Yoga Asana is not so important. I used to think it was important. It is not so important. You work with those kids now. That’s important.”
Despite this, the past year I continued to cling to the time when practice was physically easier. Lusting after the days when I cranked myself through second series every morning no matter what. Dropping back to my ankles, the tears and the sweat. It all seemed so important.
I ran a number of experiments this year in attempts to rid myself of my injuries. Certainly there was some improvement, but often I pushed myself too hard too early in the morning. Then I’d spend the day grinding my joints together as I ran after little kids.  
In May, I was so fed up that I restricted myself to only standing postures for a month. I made up a bunch of routines based around the standing postures.  Practice became a lot more calming and grounding. I had a lot less pain. And yet, I was still totally obsessed.
It occurred to me that maybe after Vipassana, I could take the rest of the month off practice and arrive at Sharath’s a brand new beginner.
Oh hi. What’s the primary series?
Of course, I want some rigid formula, some clear plan. Stop completely for one month. Do two sun salutations a day. Visualize your practice with your legs up against the wall.  Why does everything have to be a thing?
Often you hear people say that they’ve let their practice go, they’ve lost their practice.
But where did your practice go? Where did you lose it? Why is practice only second series? Only lotus postures? Without packaging something half-ass into a beautiful sentence, can’t practice be bigger than whatever we’ve let go? Whatever we’ve lost?
Once I heard an interview with Geneen Roth, author of the book Women, Food and God. I read the book and it is much less hokey than you might think. Geneen believes that people’s food problems will never dissipate until they fully accept themselves just the way they are, with their thighs and their urges to empty pints of ice cream.
The interviewer asked her, “So you mean that if someone is 300 pounds and bingeing all day long, she should work on loving herself just the way she is?”
“Well, yah,” said Geneen. “What choice does she have?”
Being cruel to yourself until your body and your practice finally measure up is a horrible option.
Love the life and the practice that you have. What other choice is there?
The End.
Darby on the seven steps of meditation
Don't forget your sweet smile
By Geneen Roth
I'd recommend it for sure
Oh, speaking of books, I am now unemployed, so maybe I will start promoting my self-help book again. Proceeds go to chais in India.
Plus it has awesome pictures by Sara E. Enquist.
Exuberant Bodhisattva on Facebook
Twitter: @mypelvicfloor
I Let Go, self-help book by Erica J. Schmidt

Our Lives Will Never Be the Same, Part One
Our Lives Will Never Be the Same, Part Two

The Vipassana Diaries: Bus
The Vipassana Diaries: Day Zero
The Vipassana Diaries: Food Belly
Vipassana Diaries/Ashtanga Memoirs: You Cling To Things Until They Die (Ham Wraps, S.I. Joints Etc.)

Why I Like to Pee Outside


1 comment:

  1. Wow, Fantastic Blog, it's so helpful to me, and your blog is very good, I've learned a lot from your blog here, Keep on going, my friend; I will keep an eye on it,
    Tao Meditation Yoga Pranayama and Spiritual Retreats in UK