Grace

Led class this morning. And it rocked from beginning to end. The morning started with My Gift from the Universe (i.e., daughter) setting off to take her SATs. As she was going out the door, we reviewed her list of essentials: calculator, pencils, water, sweatshirt. Off she went. A few minutes later, as I was sitting down to write, the phone rings: she’s forgotten the ticket that gets you in the door for the test. So off I go to bring the ticket.

And the weird thing is that I have no impatience about having to drop my writing and run the ticket over to the testing center. Usually when stuff like this happens, I take a moment to put things in perspective, so I won’t get sucked up into impatience and irritation. It’s a pretty simple process, a kind of practice. But this morning I was surprised to find I had no impatience or irritation there to process–I felt quite joyful, actually. Okay, now this sort of thing is where I can get excited about my practice–if it is making this kind of equanimity possible. I came to Ashtanga from zazen, and despite differences between Hindu beliefs and the zen perspective, I feel pretty convinced that both practices lead to the same place.

And the joyful feeling stays all through led class. A kind of calm joy. I decided, at the beginning of class, that I would listen for any anxiety I might feel, feel it, then relax and let it go. And while I was at it, I might as well meditate on relaxing my hamstrings throughout the whole practice, right? Not be fearful of the hamstrings, or wrestle with them, but simply meditate on them gently. Kind of like Freud’s “hovering attention” in psychoanalysis. I know, it seems like an “easier said than done” kind of deal, right? But somehow it worked. Or else, I was simply meant to have a light, graceful practice today. Either way, it was very sweet.

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