Friday, February 8, 2013

Books of India.

My good friend at the yoga center decided a few months ago that since I am headed to India,  I should read all things India before I go.  We headed to her house and she proceeded to stack a pile of books on me that I really thought I would never get through. One book however she could not find.  So she said she would get it for me later. Two days later in my senior yoga class, a woman said to me, "Angie,  I am finally done with that really long book it took me over 6 months to read.  Here it is if you want to read it.  It is about India and I know you will love it.  It is called Shantaram."  AHHHH!!  This is the book my friend tried to find for me.  Lets say it was not a coincedence,  I believe that things do happen for a reason.  So I took the hint and read this book first.

Let me start by saying,  this is a VERY long book.  I thought if she cannot read it under 6 months,  how the heck am I going to?   Don't get me wrong,  I am an avid reader. My favorite activity on a Saturday morning is to drink coffee,  with my quilt my mom made for me covering me and possibly 1-2 vizslas and read for at a minimum of 3 hours.  That is my perfect Saturday. No interruptions,  the house is still quiet since my husband is as much of an avid sleeper as I am a reader.  So the quest began and I could not get enough of this book.  I read it almost every waking minute.  I dont want to be dramatic and say it consumed me.  I really hate that.  I will just say I could not stop. 

I am not even sure if the who book is for real or not.  I know it says it is his story,  but you know that for a good book, even the greatest memoirs are always slightly dramatized.
He made me want to experience the culture of India.  Maybe I am just feeling romatic about the country since I have always wanted to go,  but I dont care.  I am going to live with this thought that I will love it.  IF it proves me wrong, then so be it.  But at least I am going into this with optimism.

I will leave you with a short paragraph that left me wanting to read this thing all over again. It does not even matter if you know what the book is about. I connected with this book on so many levels, (except the parts of him killing and being part of the mafia and going to war and living in a cave and maybe some other parts....) so I hope you will read it too.  It has been our for a while, but it is still a good one. Here goes:

"The cloak of the past is cut from patches of feeling, and sewn with rebus threads.  Most of the time, the best we can do is wrap it around ourselves for comfort or drag it behind us as we struggle to go on. But everything has its cause and its meaning.  Every life, every love, every action and feeling and thought has its reson and significance:  its beginning, and the part it plays in the end.  Sometimes, we do see. Sometimes we see the past so clearly, and read the legen of its parts with such acuity, that every stitch of time reveals its purpose, and a kind of message is enfolded in it.  Nothing in any life, no matter ho well or poorly lived, is wiser than failure or clearer than sorrow. And in the tiney, precious wisdom that they give to us, even those dread and hated enemies, suffereing and failure, have their reason and their right to be."  -from Shantaram,  Gregory David Roberts-

*Just finished Climbing the Mango tree,  reading at the moment The Inheritance of Loss.  Any other suggestions will be added to the list. I think I still have 3 more of the other books left:-)

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

6 months and counting down....

When I look at the calendar for the countdown to Pune,  I could choose to become stressed or overwhelmed.  Instead I choose to feel excited about the opportunity to study with a living master,  BKS Iyengar.  LIfe happens so fast, I forget to stop for a second.  So.....

The last 3 days I have been sick,  the kind of sick where all you can do is sleep.  I had to stop.  Move from one room to the next trying every remedy to get some relief.  It is funny that the one room I was afraid to go into was the Yoga room.  I felt as though I would make that room contaminated by my obivious lack of motivation to do anything.  Today is the day that I am up,  moving around the house no longer searching for a cure.

In Basic Guidelines for teachers, Geeta does say that if one is sick with fever and chills they should avoid all asana and rest completely.  It is funny that I remember that as I write since it was a question I got incorrect on my Intro I test 2 years ago......I answered that they should do Savasana!  So wrong, rest people, rest.

Whenever I have a setback like sickness or an ache or pain,  I am the type to be quite dramatic about it.  Thinking all is over,  I should give up in the moment.  It typically takes a day or so to get back on the train and get on moving again.  In reading the sutras this morning,  (the version of Edwin Bryant),  I read: "Suffering that has yet to manifest is to be avoided".  Awesome,  I could have prevented this?! 

Keep reading Angie......"Just as the present is the result of previous causes,  and was once that which had yet to come, so future suffering  has its seeds in the present and  past."....keep reading...."..relief from suffering  comes only from liberation.....only when the mind is removed from its objects is one free from pain." Ahhhhh there it is.  I get it now.  Stop trying so hard to be what you think everyone wants you to be.  Be who you know you can be,  be good, be fair, be compassionate,  be honest, live more simply.

Some of you may read the sutras, and you know who you are,  and will get something totally different, something that is on a more philosophical level, or so one could think.  I think how can I read these words and put them into day to day life?  We live in a real world, not in a cave.  We must roam about the earth with all kinds of life, even the kinds we may not agree with. So go read the sutras even if you have no idea what they are saying,  because one of these days it will all come together,  I promise.