Saturday, September 29, 2007

Tandava


I feel like I have been away from home a long time. I am not saying this in a bad way, but this is how I feel right now. I think this 2nd trip to Mysore has been affecting me, as I have wrote many times, more deeply. Everything feels less shiny, and new, less exotic, and different. It feels like home. The small group that shows up every morning on their mats feels nothing like a scene at all. It is just people showing up to practice. For a few weeks now there has been no Sharath to impress (which will ever happen, but we all try anyway) no Guruji to squeeze. It's just practice. I had one of my favorite quotes on practice up a few weeks back, and it continues on brilliantly:



I think the reason dance has held such an ageless magic for the world is that it has been the symbol of the performance of living. Even as I write, time has begun to make today yesterday-the past. The most brilliant scientific discoveries will in time change and perhaps grow obsolete, as new scientific manifestations emerge. But art is eternal, for it reveals the inner landscape, which is the soul of man.
Many times I hear the phrase "the dance of life." It is an expression that touches me deeply, for the instrument through which the dance speaks is also the instrument through which life is lived-the human body. It is the instrument by which all the primaries of life are made manifest. It holds in its memory all matters of life and death and love. Dancing appears glamorous, easy, delightful. But the path to the paradise of the achievement is not easier than any other. There is fatigue so great that the body cries, even in its sleep. There are times of complete frustration, there are daily small deaths. Then I need all the comfort that practice has stored in my memory, a tenacity of faith.



I have not danced formally in 10 years. I am often asked at the end of a yoga class that I have just dropped into, "wow, are you a dancer?" I have had many reactions to that question over the years. Sitting here in India, where the image of Shiva, as the cosmic dancer can been seen in shops, and on auto rickshaws, all over everyday. I feel certain that everyone practicing yoga is Shiva dancing, exploring their own way out of delusion and darkness into light.



Tomorrow will be my final practice in the shala. I will miss it so.

3 comments:

Judy said...

Your travels sound bitter sweet. All the experiences you have stored in your mind will continue to power the dancer within. I love you and miss you. As you and Michael travel be safe, healthy and content. Bring home many stories. LOVE and HUGS, mom

Mary Jo said...

It sounds like you have made a 2nd home for yourself there in India. However, we all miss you very much back here at home. I'm sure that you will have very many wonderful stories to tell you when get back home. Have fun traveling. Hopefully, you can get together with our distant family there in Goa while you are there. Can't wait to hear all about it.

Love.

MJ

Janette McVey said...

Hi Guys! I know you're busy traveling, but want to wish Mike a Happy Birthday (tomorrow)! What a great way to spend a birthday...hope you guys are having a great time. Everything's fine on Frederick St. I think Gene secretly loves when you guys go away because then he has an excuse to keep an eye on your front door!