Particular Identities

You may ask why it is better to liberate emotion rather than to generate positive karma. The answer is that all karmic traces act to constrain us, to restrict us to particular identities. The goal of the path is complete liberation from all conditioning. This does not mean that, once one is liberated, positive traits such as compassion are not present. They are. But when we are no longer driven by karmic tendencies we can see our situation clearly and respond spontaneously and appropriately, rather than being pushed in one direction or pulled in another. The relative compassion that arises from positive karmic tendencies is very good, but better is the absolute compassion that arises effortlessly and perfectly in the individual liberated from karmic conditioning. It is more spacious and inclusive, more effective and free of the delusions of dualism.
The Tibetan Yogas of Dream and Sleep

Practice was crowded today. I got to Volleyball Guy’s at 5:40 and the place was already packed. Volleyball Guy asked Bikram Teacher and Chanting Man to make a space for me. Bikram Teacher seemed irritated, but Chanting Man was okay with it. Speaking of Chanting Man, I enjoy practicing near him, too. He is relatively new, and he is similar in body type to Returning Guy, but even more muscular. Now that I think of it, The Beautiful One may be the only person there who has the long, lanky body one generally associates with Ashtangis. Oh, and Volleyball Guy. I am pretty small, and still a little muscular from sports–so not particularly Ashtangi-like.

Anyhow, it was nice to practice near Chanting Man for the first time. In really close quarters, you can feel people’s reactions to having another practitioner wedged in. He was fine with it–and I love when you can feel someone practicing but also peripherally aware of you next to them–as you are of them. It is an interesting kind of psychic and physical give-and-take, that making room to accomodate someone by being considerate of what poses they have coming up in their practice, and of wishing them well. I guess I really am a Socialist at heart 😉

And I have a project: getting past the delusion of dualism with Bikram Teacher.

So practice was good. I felt awful when I woke, figured I wouldn’t practice, then got up and had coffee and the tide of habit kept me moving along until I found myself driving to Volleyball Guy’s. I skipped dropbacks, just because I felt like I should cut myself a little slack. Volleyball Guy always comes over to spot me on my handstand after Utkatasana and the ones between each Navasana–and he noticed how shaky I was. I could get up there no problem, and I never felt like I would lose control of the handstand, but my arms kept shaking slightly. He asked me what was wrong, and I told him I wasn’t sure, just a bit under the weather.

Tonight is Rolfing. I’m scared and excited, both.

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4 Responses

  1. nice blog ill be back

  2. rolfing is fantastic! intense, but worth it 🙂

  3. Great quote! And I actually have this book but never got round to picking it up, gave it to my friend to read….. think I’ll be asking for it back when she’s finished.

  4. It’s really a terrific book. It is very detailed, in terms of specific practices–I’m not sure if I’ll go far down that path, but even just to read it conceptually is quite fascinating.

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