Day 58- temple of silence

I haven’t practised yoga since Puerto Escondido. That is about a week. It has also been about a week that I have been expecting my period. I try not to think about the significance of this as I arrive on my yoga mat; however the truth is I never really arrive. I am moving through my Vinyasa but my mind is a million miles away. I realise that I haven’t been able to walk down the street lately without seeing a pregnant woman. When I turn on the TV, I watch the episode of Sex and the City where Miranda considers an abortion and then eventually decides to keep her baby. This morning, my favourite movie from my childhood is on; Bedknobs and Broomsticks. It is about an apprentice witch, studying by correspondence (like myself) who must unwillingly take on children. The law of attraction would suggest that the only reason this is occurring is because I am thinking about it, so I am attracting these “signs” into my attention. I can’t help but wonder…

As I try to move through my yoga practice I can’t get my mind off the possibility of pregnancy. I am silently calculating when the baby will arrive, trying to figure out exactly how many times I drank more than two glasses of wine, when I find myself (ironically) in child’s pose. Deuter’s angelic song, Temple of Silence, has brought me to my knees and in awe and I lay my third eye centre down to the earth. In this moment of certainty, I have no choice but to surrender to the higher power. If it is meant to be, then it won’t matter how much I want to control my life because my destiny has already been decided. I slowly move out of child’s pose and flow through the rest of my practice with ease. I meditate on this feeling of surrender until I let go of the inner conflict and fear. Finally, I walk to the shops. It is time to find out.

Single line. Not pregnant.

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Day 50- Popocatepetl

We are on the bus to Mexico City. It is early in the morning and I am dozing off as the sun rises, trying to keep my eyes awake to watch the beautiful view. As I fall asleep, my head slips and hits the window, waking me up suddenly. I sit up and stretch, then gaze at the mountainous countryside. I am wide awake now. As the bus winds up higher into the mountains of the state of Mexico, the landscape is changing. The cactus is surrounded by luscious red and green trees, and bare mountains and farms reveal deep crevices in the earth where water has trickled downhill to the low river that runs along the side of the highway. There is no question that this will be the most meditative part of my day. Mexico is such a beautiful place. The desert, the farmland, the mountains, all hold a magical energy. The vast emptiness of the land, pure and fertile, reflects the state of my meditative mind. There is no need for lotus, for incense, for a yoga mat. Addressing the beauty of the earth, there is space for the soul to exist. This is from The Radiance Sutras, sutra number 57.

Find something so enchanting to behold,

That you are transfixed, ravished.

Allow yourself to be captivated.

 

Gaze upon its form

With the eyes of wonder.

Attend to the details –

This shape and texture, these colours…

How can something so beautiful possibly exist?

 

With a steady gaze, melt into

The field of space embracing that form,

And at once,

Be at one with the creator, who is

Looking through your eyes, loving creation.

Day 38- listening to the wind of my soul

‘I am ready to listen to the wind of my soul­’ – Rolf Gates, Meditations from the Mat

I wake up and head straight for the yoga mat. Today I have the intention and gentle determination to make my entire yoga practice a meditation. I find a recording that I have downloaded of my friend and teacher, Nicole Goodwin, of Body Mind Life. It is a two-hour class. (I don’t ever make it easy for myself, do I?) I begin to flow and breathe in this practice and for the first half hour I hear the monkey mind wondering off on little tangents as though he is climbing the branches of a tree. I am in bakasana and try to jump back gracefully, but find that because I was not present, I have not lifted into my core and I kind of flop back onto the ground, very un-gracefully. I take a few moments in child’s pose to find the breath. I have always had this experience- when I start to get too airy and I am not present, gravity will pull me down to the ground like a gentle knock to say ‘Hey! Wake up!’

I take some deeper breaths and start to really listen to my breath. It sounds like the wind. I open the door so that some fresh air can come into the room and feel that the breeze is warm. I start moving, this time with full awareness. I find myself in tree pose, balancing on one leg, meditating, when Nicole says, “For those of you who are really feeling that mental stillness, can you sit with that? Meditation in action…When we find stillness in our asana we realise how many different ways there are to meditate. You can meditate, standing on one leg, sweat dripping off your body. You can meditate sitting in your lounge room, sitting in a park, sitting in your car at the traffic lights…”

It really feels like everywhere I turn, there is a message for me about this. Like small confirmations from the universe to say, yes, this is the right way.

By the end of the asana practice, I am lying in savasana completely still and silent, inside and out. The awareness I have cultivated through the asana has created an awareness of stillness, a quiet observant attitude. I eventually sit up and continue the meditation sitting. By the time I finally om and stand up from my mat, over two hours have passed in complete meditation- action, stillness and awareness.

Day 4 – meditating with music

A full day: Wake up, eat, drive an hour and a half to work from my brother’s place, work all day, sit in traffic for two hours to get to Yogatime Bondi Beach (yogatime.com.au), teach progressive yoga and then finally, before going home to make myself dinner, I find a space to meditate. After an hour and fifteen minutes of yoga, the room is warm and clear. I find it easy to sit up on my mat and I decide to listen to music for this meditation. I choose Yoga Harmony by Terry Oldfield and place all my attention on the woody sounds, imagining that each note is clearing my mind. Although the thoughts still happen, they pass through my mind like running water. I find it easier to let go of them without attachment and I believe it is because of the yoga and the music. Before long I feel as though I am gentle circling from my spine, as though it is moving ever-so slightly in a counter-clockwise direction. To look at me, it would almost be impossible to see the tiny movements but I can feel it occurring organically. Eventually I feel “the void”, the space of no thoughts. It is a comfortable emptiness where the entire body feels relaxed and light and the mind is finally at peace. It really does feel like a small gap in the universe where my mind has managed to squeeze into. Eventually, though I find myself thinking, “Oh look! I’m in the void!” and it starts to dissipate. It slowly becomes less and less strong and I feel it slipping away. It has become like a memory that you try so hard to remember but it’s just slipped your mind. Like the taste is on the tip of my tongue, but I can’t quite find the flavour.

I take a deep breath and I know the meditation has ended so I Om quietly and then pack away my mat with reverence as it is an important tool for me in creating a sacred space. For years I have been able to come to my yoga mat, sit on my heels with knees wide or together and bring my forehead to the floor. As soon as I find that dark quiet space and the smell of rubber, the world suddenly slows down and I can feel an automatic stillness.

I drive home and decide to buy myself a bottle of wine. This is worth mentioning simply because I did consider giving up alcohol this year, however I feel it is also important to remain balanced and have a realistic approach. This single bottle of wine will last me all week, as I will only have a glass every couple of days. I don’t drink excessively and the fact is, the average person enjoys wine, chocolate, sugar and pies just as much as the bliss of meditation and yoga and I don’t believe that the two should be mutually exclusive. I am a pescaterian, lactose intolerant yogi who meditates daily, enjoys a glass of wine and has a weakness for all forms of chocolate. Besides, I have already given up wheat .