How are you meant to fill your left leg with love?
Who is the dude in the photos hanging up everywhere?
When I open my eyes and have a sneaky look around, everyone is still in the zone. How come everyone knows how many dings of the meditation bell thingy you should wait for before you open your eyes?
Why does everyone ask you if you are inspired to do something instead of asking you to do it?
What’s with all the parsnips?
How bad would it be if I burst out crying right now?
Why is someone telling us to focus on the heart on the right side of your chest, isn’t it on the left?
Am I the only one that thinks getting up at 6am every morning just makes you want to sleep all day?
Does anyone else here watch trashy tv shows about murder or zombies?
What is Ramana, Vamana, Ananda, Chandrasana, and isn’t Tapas just a Spanish food? Why didn’t I read more stuff about yoga-language before I came here? Will I ever understand every word in a conversation again?
When can I smoke?
Is acceptance the same as presence?
Did I make the right decision? Why am being so resistant?
How the fuck do you sit still for more than twenty minutes, quiet your mind and think about anything other than just trying to sit still?
What is this ‘witnessing’ thing you are talking about? Is it just noticing things but not connecting to them? Is that even possible?
Is my awareness really starting to grow or are the trees, autumn colours and sky just particularly beautiful here?
Did I really just have a moment of stillness or did I want it so much I convinced myself that it was real?
…just a handful of the questions arising in my not-so-zen state for my first week staying as a karma yogi in a meditation and yoga community. It’s been a toughy. I genuinely thought that I was an open-minded person, a brave person, a strong person, a (relatively) laid back person, but it’s not felt that way at all. I haven’t understood anything that’s been happening in the last week and, for most the time, I’ve felt like an alien in a strange land. There have been times where it’s been wonderfully strange though. Magically strange.
My first morning, we had a Karma Yogi meeting. The man leading it gave us a word to think about for the week; Surrender. It’s taken the entire week with this word buzzing around in my mind to really connect to it. Whether it’s you playing with me, Universe, or it’s serendipity or maybe just me projecting, it seems this is the perfect word for me to arrive to. I’ve been fighting it, and I still am, but I’ve definitely started to surrender. What if I can let all these questions come in to my mind and then just accept that I don’t have answers for them yet? Would that be surrender?
One of the teachers here was talking about noise being allowed to flow through you. She was talking about non-reactivity. When you are trying to meditate, and a noise distracts you and pulls your focus, the noise isn’t bothering you - you are bothering the noise. By engaging with it and becoming annoyed, you are stopping the noise from happily continuing on its journey. It seems to me that it could be the same with thoughts. Our thoughts pop up and can either continue on their happy way or we can engage with them. We grab them, analyse them, feel them, connect with them, and don’t let them go even when they hurt us.
What if we surrender and let them flow through us, notice them, then let them float away.
I’m going to play with this idea but I’m sure it will take a lot of time to put into practice.
For now, I’m starting to feel less alien and more impartial observer. I’ve enjoyed some amazing conversations (where I’m mostly lost and confused, but still smiling), I’ve played my guitar and sung more in the last week than in the last 5 years, I’ve walked in nature, been to my first yoga class, Bhajan (a singing, sharing thing) and Heart Circle (sharing how you're feeling in a circle), met some genuinely beautiful people who I know will teach me so much, and I’ve forgiven myself for all the frustration, questions and tears I’ve had this week! Not so bad.
Keep up the good work, Universe.