August

Duality

I live in a world of duality; it is the nature of life I guess.  Hot and cold, light and dark, cause and effect.  Nothing escapes its polarizing spectrum, nothing in this dimension anyway, nothing I’ve encountered on this physical plane.  Lately I’ve been caught in a particular duality.  I’m fluctuating between everything having meaning and a deeper level of reality to it compared to a view that floats along, living and enjoying life.  I’ve always known about myself that I think too much and that sometimes a thing is just a thing that I don’t need to slather untold meanings atop.  I’m ever analysing my every move, wanting to grow and evolve, wanting to get closer to God.  It’s sometimes rather exhausting.  So there’s that end of the spectrum.  There’s also the haphazard end in me that flails around life (self-)destructively engaging in experience and not stopping to think.  I don’t usually live in this end vey long though which causes me to question my very ability to live at all.  For what is life if the present moment is not fully engaged in?  Swinging from these polarities the conclusion that always comes back to me (yes always – I’ve been revelling in how my rare interactions with Swami Lalitananda have been teaching me so much.  A pattern I’ve discovered is my use of broad, generalizing statements.  Having swami’s mirror back at me is so much fun.  But I digress, and there I go again, analyzing every interaction…) the conclusion is that I simply must continue to analyze.  If I am to find any meaning in engaging in life I unequivocally must THINK.

In some ways this conclusion is so much more comforting than the thought that I must wake up every day and make it to hatha, or I must chant mantra every day.  This conclusion allows space to include all practices in my days as I am naturally drawn to but, more specifically, fosters my natural inclination to simply reflect.  Reflection is a yogic practice as is any other.  Using my partiality to more cerebral modes of practice allows me to not be so hard on myself for my occasional lack of self-discipline (I mean really, who makes it to hatha *every* day?  Oh wait….I did….from January to April…hmmmm) and gives me allowance to simply be.  What comes naturally to me is thought.  Specifically thoughts about my thoughts.   Though this truth is sometimes exhausting I have come to accept it in myself.  I find this much less energy-consuming than trying to convince myself I should be simply living life rather than thinking about it all.  What a conundrum: I naturally turn to philosophizing about myself and my experiences yet a part of me sometimes feels I should give it a rest and just enjoy life.  But if analyzing is me enjoying life than it makes sense to simply surrender to that, “should” be damned.

Fruit

I’ve been shoving cherries down my throat for a good number of weeks now.  Issues with food aside, it’s spectacularly lovely to eat food grown right here at the ashram.  Especially food so delicious as fresh cherries.  As I hold one in my hand I think about how a tiny little stem provides all the nourishment needed to grow a delicious bulb of juicy red fruit.  How is that even possible?  It seems utterly and completely remarkable, especially after I rip away the flesh with my teeth and reveal a messy pit underneath.  How is it that nourishment can simply flow through this tiny stem, connected to this hardened pit, and result in such a delicious treat?

I’m reminded of a picture I drew during the transition out of the YDC in April.  It was of me, sweeping across a battlefield of broken arrows – battles I had won and battles I had lost over the previous three months and many of which culminated in that week of transition.  I was desperately holding onto this rope, symbolizing the Divine, and yet somehow unaware that it was embedded into me.  The rope is like the cherry stem, feeding nourishment into the fruit, me.  I don’t know how it works but somehow there is this force beyond all rationality that transforms universal energy into another form and gradually folds it back into the cycle.  Like making meringue pie, and a spatula relentlessly beating frothy goodness back into itself again and again I am a part of universe that displays itself to itself.  In many different forms and manifestations I continue the second law of thermodynamics, ever altering the energy that feeds me and undulating through cosmic waves.

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