“A warrior doesn’t ever leave the island of the tonal. He uses it.”
Carlos Castaneda

Tales of Power

Myself – April 2010: Regress

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During the period of October 21st 2009 – December 18th 2009 I was home alone while Andreea went to test the waters in Romania with her work. During this period I focused on myself and my practices. I slowly realized a morning ritual which filled my entire morning and would set the pace for the remaining waking hours. I felt good, collected and healthy. Then on December 18th  I flew to Romania to join Andreea for the remainder of her visit which coincided with the holiday season there. It took me time to regain a sense of center and peace after that – and then again lost it to a hectic month of March – where I lost it again. So it has been almost 6 months of being away from my steady practices. I gravitated away from intense practices back to healing practices. I don’t play the Shakuhachi regularly and I feel empty.

April was a most difficult and unpleasant month.

Depression was constantly present and aspiring to consume my emotional body. It did once when I was younger. This time it didn’t. I wasn’t really threatened by it. Years of Yoga helped me to recognize that I am riding a wave that will eventually pass. I didn’t attach to  or identify the depression as “myself”. It would pass and I would remain. This awareness didn’t make feel any better – but it definitely kept from feeling any worse. It was like being in a midst of a storm with a confident awareness that this storm, like all storms, will pass.

Another difficulty I experienced in April was asthma. I was very asthmatic for all of of my childhood and teen-years. It magically vanished when I entered my 20’s and hasn’t effected me since. April brought back breathing experiences I had not known in over 15 years. On more then one night I would lie in bed with an itching chest & back, with a trumpet like wheezing from my chest and finding it very difficult to breath in. I am thankful that I was able to be present in it and go through it with soft patience and no medication.

As I write these words a thought came to me. The disappearance of asthma coincided with my period of deep depression. In retrospect I recognize this period as a period of emancipation, of violently breaking free from a the grip of so much about life that I didn’t like. I was depressed but I was also free. So it makes sense that my asthma receded (that probably deserves a separate post). It’s reappearance confirms my experience of struggling to regain my sense of presence.

April had a defining event – a very painful and difficult experience. Shahar invited me to partake in a studio session that was to be a preparation for our next performance. The previous performance (one of the “hectic March” events) was mostly an unpleasant experience for me – so I had doubts about partaking in the next performance. I spent the entire week debating if I would join the session – and though I wanted to go very much it was up in the air until I packed all my stuff and drove (it was a Saturday, so there wasn’t any public transportation) to the studio. As I was preparing my camera’s wireless setup connection to a computer – I encountered difficulties. The camera was malfunctioning. I felt anger brewing deep inside and called on all my internal skills to remain calm and accepting and focused on getting it to work – this went on for almost 2 hours. When I realized it was a hardware problem (the camera’s USB port wasn’t functioning) – I gave up. One time I picked up the camera to just join the space as is – and I was held back by fear and doubt. It felt like a cosmic slap on my face. Coming all this way (physically, mentally, emotionally) only to be stopped dead in the tracks. It was the last thing I wanted, the last thing I expected, the last thing I was ready for. It left me hurt. Shahar called me as I was driving home (I left in between sessions without saying goodbye) – and I couldn’t answer – seeing his name on the phone screen brought me to tears. A couple of days later he called again – and hearing his voice brought me to tears again. We talked after more then two weeks.

April has a second defining event. This time it was with Yoav – a close friend with whom I share an intense and friction-filled relationship. Yoav is a Buddhist immersed in the world of business. I am immersed in my own spiritual pursuit. I urged Yoav to watch the movie Zeitgeist – when he finally did he sent me what felt to me like an aggressive, condescending email preaching to me in the spirit of “open your eyes and appreciate all that life has given you”. My usual response to these communications from Yoav is a period of (few days/weeks/months) silence – until I can again embrace him. This time I attacked – sharply, intensly and personally. Now we are again in a period of silence.

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