Thursday, July 28, 2005

Yoga and Ecology

The first night of Yoga training, I attended a lecture on yoga and ecology. It wasn't part of our course but the topic seemed interesting. It was, except for the language used. My bullshit detectors for New Agey language are finely tuned, so it made it tough for me to get into it completely. I mean, all concepts introduced that night come out of really old traditions, so why not be faithful to the original terms?

And I never got the ecology connection. The point seemed to be introducing exercises to expand our consciousness from personal to global to universal. (See what I mean about language? Fuck!) We'd generally do something (i.e. meditation, yoga, nature awareness, candle-gazing, chanting) then write something for three minutes, usually the first thing that popped into our (individual? collective?) heads. Mine were pretty bad, but here goes:

>>Ujjayi--> Fire in a bowl. Feeding it with my breath. Fire in turn nourishes me, keeps me warm in my own bowl, this valley which clouds and storms kiss gently, yet rarely with passion. Cool hands work down my spine, pulling out knots and memories, allowing this space to fill with peace, the gentle wind blowing up this valley. Rain falls- a distraction, drops large, gumdrops flattened out with the force with which they fall, sugar to nourish all they touch.

>>Nada-->The nada river flows, stopping at nothing. Energy channel of the bare earth, nutrients left on all the shores, inlets and runoffs carrying to the far reaches and out, beyond, up into the air the river goes, to those galaxies there, floating out to places beyond comprehension. Do these uncomprehendable beings nourish us with their energy rivers? Are their rivers composed of the same stuff as ours?

One other thing we did was eye gazing for three minutes. My partner was an old friend, Amy, from Texas. The whole thing was uncomfortably personal, but I'd love to try it with a lover someday. I wrote:

>>Dristi-->Shadows flicker across the face, like the flame in my periphery. Are these all the hidden emotions in Amy's life, a history of a soul torn by experience? Her face itself is kind, but the shadows distort. Her mouth too seems to move, silent verbal reaction to this pain. The light at the perimeter dims, like a lens suddenly changed in a 60's film. I hold focus, trying to ignore how incredibly personal this practice is. Do I have a right to see these secrets in someone I hardly know? Which brings this: what is she seeing in my eyes? Which of my own secrets are being revealed? Self-consciousness follows. Looking for the earth in her pupils, her rapid blinks are the change over eons.

Our last practice was free-drawing. Now, I absolutely suck at this. I have no talent at all, and my drawings always look done on a broken etch-a-sketch. I decided to color the spaces between my erratic lines. So at the top margin I wrote:

>>I like coloring more than drawing. My hand can't create what my mind can see. Are these doodles below the parts of the subconscious which I can't make out--seemingly random patterns expressed without thought? If coloring is better than drawing, would I make a better actor than director, a musical instrument rather than musician, a crayon rather than an artist?

DISCLAIMER: I promise never to write this badly again. This kind of stuff is best left in the journals of disgruntled residents of the Freshman dorm. I'll bring talent next time...

On the turntable: "High Fidelity" (soundtrack)


carlo (one of many) pilgrims said...

What's that in your bowl? Pits, alms, poetic concentration, dream confection metaphoric free ride, Ben and Jerry's at Bennigans for a full flair festival?
Just got my cable broadband installed today, so I can consult the NogNotes (currently on location in Guy-jean territory).
Sugoi, ne? Here's eye gazing at ya kako-E-money!

-c said...

Let that freshman out, brotha, to dabble in debauchery and get some play! Yo.