What if we were to cease to think of discipline as constraint, as punishment, as something confining and unattainably rigorous, something satisfying only in having suffered for gain? What if we were to understand it, as Swami Chidvilasananda, suggests as discipleship, a cleaving to the path out of the exquisitely blissful yearning for the light? Such discipline is, I think, what is the true practice of brahmacharya — aligning with the divine.
It was such a beautiful day that I spent as much time as possible walking in the neighborhood. That walking is “good for me” was just an incidental benefit.
Is it benign multitasking or a sign of being too attached to social media that I am writing while I am waiting for the bus home? I have taken my moment to appreciate the beauty of the Dome.
Tonight, I think it is the former. I have twelve minutes to spare. Writing now means that I will not even be tempted to turn on the computer when I get home. I will pet the cats and wash and sit for meditation before getting ready for bed.
I can pause, here, thinking about the synchronicity of the centering Batya used at the beginning of class I took tonight (level 4 at Willow Street, Takoma Park). She told us of a story she had heard on a podcast about a woman who described having a stroke as freeing her mind from its incessant chatter when the language center of the brain was temporarily immobilized. That quiet is, in part, what comes from a deep and consistent meditation practice. The synchronicity was that I am reading Ram Das’s “Be Love Now” (hot off the press), which is inevitably leading me to think about the interconnection between yoga practice and facing a stroke. It is not something I think of often.
The more we are open and aware, though, the more we will see connections and synchronicities. The more consistently we practice, the more likely we are to experience the good in even the greatest of challenges.
And now, the bus is here, and I am on my way home.
It felt good to sleep in and still wake up at my usual 6am. I did my morning practice, went to meeting for worship, joined in at a fundraising lunch for Pakistan flood relief, looked at the Truth Beauty exhibit at the Phillips, took a walk in the neighborhood, and then took a short nap. Then I took one of my favorite walks in the neighborhood — from my house to House of Hands, the home of my neighbor, friend, and wonderful massage therapist Patrick. As you can see, the sun was setting as I walked to a 5pm appointment. In honor of the change of seasons, the heat was on the massage table. Nice. It was dark when my massage was finished, but I had hot soup for dinner and am looking forward to my evening meditation and practice. I do not have many days that are this luxurious and free of commitments. I enjoy them to the fullest when they come.
it is because I have too much to say. I am thinking about many things, deeply and all at once. When I write in my journal, unexpected thoughts emerge from some depths. At this stage, the thoughts are for myself. Then some might be for sharing with the friend or colleague who would be interested in engaging in the dialogue that could follow from the idea.
Later, one thought path will capture me enough to invite me to follow though with it–to get down the words, to refine, to research, to read, to confirm, to affirm, to polish.