“The world doesn’t yield to us directly, the description of the world stands in between. So, properly speaking, we are always one step removed and our experiences of the world is always a recollection of the experience. We are perennially recollecting the instant that has just happened, just passed.”
Carlos Castaneda

Tales of Power

Getting Back to Practice

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It’s been almost two weeks now that I’ve been enjoying a fairly regular practice routine – it’s still building, still taking shape but it’s presence is stabilizing. It was interesting for me to observe a cycle over 3+ months as I moved away from and back towards a practice.

Practice >> Wanting to Practice >> Wanting Food

The journey started with an abrupt break in practice. It happened when we first acted on our decision to move to Romania. I remember that on the first day that we started taking things apart and packing, something about the energy changed from a home into a house – it was no longer our place. For a couple of weeks we managed to keep the Yoga room clean and quiet – but I didn’t visit it anymore. I  wanted to practice but couldn’t find it – I was preoccupied and the rest of the house was degenerating into an inevitable mess. I couldn’t settle into practice.

The days flew by and the movement intensified, things began to leave us and some of the obvious day-to-day patterns became more challenging – some had to be completely surrendered. The new challenge was maintaining a correct effort in the face of change. There were many things to do and many attachments to undo. Some days were physically tiring and some days were emotionally draining. We had to stay tuned to ourselves and to each other – we had to make a conscious decision to stop and rest or call it a day. When we didn’t we became unpleasant inside and towards each other. Practice was not really on my mind – life was enough of a practice.

Towards the end of the leaving-phase of the journey we were guests at my parents home, tending to final arrangements and all I really wanted was to pad my days with peace and quiet and nourishing food.

Wanting Food >> Wanting to Practice >> Practice

When the actual journey began, getting nourishing food on time was a practice. Food was a first priority and a backdrop for everything else. When we first arrived at our hostel in Romania we purchased basic groceries for at least a decent breakfast. The rest of the meals were usually ad-hoc and on the move as we were again making arrangements and looking for an apartment.

When we moved into the apartment most of our expenses were (as planned) kitchen related – we got everything we needed to quickly get back to home cooked food. We quickly transitioned to shopping for naturally grown food in the markets instead of industrialized food in supermarkets (there is plenty of both). The markets are a vegetarian heaven and we are really enjoying the food (though we consume much less fresh vegetables then we used to). Good rice and lentils are surprisingly hard to find (or ridiculously expensive). But I digress … my point is that food was the main issue.

Only after there was good food did I started having thoughts about resuming practice – though practice didn’t come immediately. It took some time. The first semblance of practice was when I began sitting down for short Shakuhachi sessions – sound was the first element I could access as a meditation. I don’t know if it’s directly related – but I first got on the mat for some asana practice the day after our boxes arrived from Israel and in them I found the Yoga-blocks I needed for sitting.

Since then practice has been calling to me more often. Pranayama is the practice that calls out to me most and has been my most regular practice. Asana practice is also present, fairly regularly but not as much as Pranayama and not yet in full capacity. Most of my Pranayama practices are followed by 10-15 minutes of Dharana. I am looking forward to more regulated days as an extension of my (mostly) morning practices. I am looking forward to more regulated hunger, which I hope will lead to additional practice spaces during the day.



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