Saturday is rest day for Sarawathi’s students. Holiday as she calls it.
I came to India injured and on this Holiday I notice that my body feels the best it has felt all year.
I’m also noticing, in my time of silence, that I want to draw conclusions. I want to make an absolute statement that will help me to make sense of the past year. Why did I have to hurt so much? What was I doing wrong? What do I have to change, fix, and transform?
I want to make a list naming what is different:
1. the climate
2. the food
3. the schedule
4. my work
5. no stress
6. nothing to do but practice
8. I’m alone
9. no escapes
Once I make the list I realize it is useless. I remember that conclusive statements limit my view and my understanding.
I want to say: It must have been the drop backs that injured me. It must have been my schedule. It must have been the stress.
The truth is I don’t really know.
Any concrete answer to this inquiry seems inadequate and sort of foolish. As if I can find an equation that will equal no pain in the future.
But the inquiry into my self, my work, and my life, this feels valuable.
What is the best way for me to serve? What is the best way for me to live a good life?
Each day I am on the mat by 6 AM. It is slow deliberate work, executed with care and compassion. As I focus on the breath I am shown the joy of concentration. I love this time. I feel good when I honor this time.
What am I working toward? Is it simply to be comfortable, to feel good?
When I think about my responsibilities at home, the students and the teachers, all their needs and desires, I just don’t know.
I do know my experience is impermanent. What I find on retreat is that the feelings of discomfort that come from removing everything I love: work, spouse, and home, offers space to inquire. I am less definite about things including my practice. I heal. I soften. I do not escape but I am with all of me. My inquiry and curiosity make me feel like I am on the top of a mountain looking at the view, Happy Holiday.