Here to Mecca • 13 March 2009

Blue-dark mornings of daylight savings: driving the long curved road that leads from my house to the shala under a brilliant waning moon, early enough to catch the roosters waking in the country-sized estates that line San Vicente. Jasmine is just starting to push through the morning cool; when I return it’ll be heady summer and the moon will look the same.

I’m in a weird space. Work has been amazing, but also shitty. That’s my practice more than practice. These advanced theories that practice is suffering and self-noting, that it’s just mental and physical hygiene that prepares you for more important practices… to be brutally honest, I’m just not there: and the theories feel so outside of anything like participating in nonduality or just being on the breath. Maybe it is more interesting to hold back from saying what yoga is. But work… this is indubitably a field of loss and gain, praise and blame, pleasure and pain. What "arises" in that space is way more revelatory of where I’m at in my maturity. It is useful in that sense. But the point is also that I become useful. It is nice, not distracting or bullshit delusion, if unsustainable to become absorbed like this.

What if I brought the principles of practice to my work? Get out of your own way, follow the rules, just do it systematically with all the energy and focus that you have. Well… I’d never have a creative thought. But still, might reduce the less useful fluctuations.

So, packing today. Let’s see:



vitamin C.

I think that’s everything.

Oh, download Shinzen Young for the ipod. And gather together the many items I am supposed to courier to Mecca—so much for taking care of the ounces so the pounds take care of themselves. And practice disguising the bend, so nobody gets the big idea to slam me to the thighs in chakra bandasana.

Otherwise, I’m happy to surrender to what will be and don’t much care what that looks like. Am I excited? Nah. But interested, yes. And content about it. So after a long-awaited memorial service tomorrow, I’m off. Time now to write a little speech for that other pending goodbye.

A couple of little feathers that have drifted by recently and stuck to me, from the following sources. First, a speaker at the business school in a lecture I watched to update myself on developments in the “strategic management” literature, absurd capitalist self-help regime that it is. Pretty good insight though. Second, a distillation of Christopher Titmuss’s discussions of relationship. And third, a reading of Shinzen Young.

Making decisions prematurely is the mark of an amateur. 

Lovingkindness is a practice, not a feeling.

Live your own life, not someone else’s.