Self / Consciousness

Talked, via email, with Crim Girl this week about the difference between Mysore practice and home practice. Obviously, both have their advantages.

This morning at Mysore, we had some new folks. One gal practicing second, and one who seems to be new. About three quarters of the way through practice, I noticed that there was so much energy in the room: people helping each other, people talking, people walking around. Very busy. Of course, this kind of energy can fuel a practice. On the other hand, it is rather distracting. Maybe that’s just me, though–I am way out there on the introvert scale.

What I mentioned to Crim Girl, as we discussed this issue, is not that I feel self-conscious in the sense of worrying about people watching me, but that at home, practice feels more intuitive, more flow state, more improvisational. Even as I stick to the primary series.

Sanskrit Scholar said something last week about how each pose is new, how you have to approach it and feel inside it and discover it each and every time. Sometimes I find that easier when I am at home and The Cop is sleeping and My Gift is sleeping and the dog is sleeping and the only thing I can hear is my breath and, occasionally, the cat walking by on his way to look out the window.

It’s a very specific kind of consciousness, and it reminds me of a few lines from a book I’m reading:

Prajna is not a special, privileged, “correct” way of knowing events but rather is the knowing of events in the total absence of all viewpoints and perspectives…

…Practice…is a process of digging down through the various layers that cover the light of clear knowing, a kind of spiritual archaeology, so to speak. In human beings, these layers are made up of such things as concepts, symbols, language, categories, habits, ideological presuppositions, and the natural, innate tendency to divide the world into “self” and “not self.”

…To experience events as they truly are, one must experience them without the least bit of personal or cultural meaning added to them. This kind of knowing might best be called “no mind.”

… “No mind” is not confusion, uncertainty or blankness, but, rather, an extremely clear knowing freed of all conceptualization and symbolization.

Sitting with Koans

Maybe it seems a little tough to access no mind at Mysore because of the community feel. Perhaps that group energy, which is quite compelling, subsumes no mind. Or maybe it’s something that comes in time.

This morning The Cop called to say he’d be late getting home. Usually he’s back by around 7AM, but it looks like he’ll be putting in lots of extra hours. At the end of his shift he had an assault arrest. I always wonder if these events are taking place at the same time I’m doing handstands, for some reason. It makes me curious about time and the nature of simultaneous events. If we are all one, how does it happen that someone is being violent when another is balancing on her hands? Not sure why that fascinates me, but there you have it.

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