Vortices of Mysore, Birds of Mysore • 13 March 2010

It’s no time for public speaking. I’ve been heatwise sleep-deprived, high-viscosity twisted, surrounded by subtly tripping nadi shodanites, and focused so deep in the breath rhythm that the breath itself has begun to disintegrate.

Pretty good for a so-called rabbit hole. But when it comes to speaking, people keep inspiring me so much in a way that makes me want to write a bit, so maybe some free-association here. That’s the way table conversation (or, best-case scenario—at Jannakes, Three Sisters or Sandhya’s—floor conversation) goes in Mysore, after all. I’ll just see what comes up for a few paragraphs now.

That reminds me. Saffron lassi today at Three Sisters. Not really a lassi. More like a soft frozen waylay on the brutally steamy journey to nirvana. A direct path teaching: why do all your silly practice when you—or at least your saffron lassi—are always already enlightened? She brought it to me in a bowl with two spoons and it cost a whopping two dollars and sixty-four cents. Watch me fly my sorry old duck on that nectar, dear god. Could happen.

Someone—an otherwise hyper-critical Brit—just said: “Subtler shades of India (and one) come out, don't they? Mmmmm rather than woo-hoo.” But someone else—a south European old-timer—said: “A third month in India should be banned. The third month is when you start to believe this is real. We should be forced to go home after two.”

So, people. The going rate for fast-track mutual resonance is one itinerant ashtangi per hundred. Not actually very high. But: Hello, we met today, and now you have my number. Behavior reserved for professional conferences, SXSW, rush week, and Mysore March. There’s a rhythm to this too: Ann Arbor’s atomized coffee shop efficiency and its single family dwellings adumbrate a quiet cycle coming. So for now I’m slacking not only on sleep but on the huge amount of alone time I usually think I need.

A few weeks ago, first met someone who’s in to gutsy real estate investments that ground a life on the road, intelligent backbends, and power spots. Like, vortices. Does Mysore have a vortex? This could explain the Southern Star lawn, the coconut stand, the outer lobby of the shala at six on a weekday morning? Naaaah. A certain cave up Chamundi Hill yes – that outcropping is the Seventh Most Holy Hill in Southern India, after all. (The official signage is specific!) Still, we may as well install a webcam in the other aforementioned locations.

Thursday at the pool, I was approached by people who have just arrived here from New York, Wisconsin, Florida and… Ann Arbor. People so sweet that I was left kind of euphoric and charmed the whole day, and that’s why I figured I may as well blog this trip out. Hey American Mid West!! So weird to learn that you are out there and so open and curious. We will make things happen there in tornado country.

But admittedly It gives me the chills to meet without warning a person who reads here. So much of the unconscious leaks in to an online identity—all this relational and self-conceptual stuff the writer can’t even see but which is painfully obvious to certain others. I pack (0v0) with shadows, use it to work out difficult questions and voice irritations A is not clear enough to discuss in person.

So when I meet some person who reads, the first impulse is to run away. Or, more accurately, offer him or her the opportunity to run away. It’s shiverish. Uncanny. You know things about me that I don’t know. The way your yoga teacher knows things about you.

Is this phase of practice pushing back more of the veil, between the conscious and the unconscious? Yes, it feels so. I’m using fewer physical postures and way slower breath—making these tools go further and last longer because I want to stay in that room as long as possible. I’m losing the breath at times, but not the way a beginning meditator runs off after fantasy and has to return to the concentration practice again and again. Rather, if the breath mediates between gross and subtle, it feels just as likely now that I’ll get lost not in the former but in the latter. Sounds like a distraction, but maybe not. It feels like an exploration made possible by the energy and focus of the intense nerve-cleansing others who surround me. And by the vortex of that room.

Hmmm… who knows. I feel like I need to be near water as often as possible to keep my dreamlife deep and interesting (I know this makes no sense – but does any of this post make sense?). So it’s time now to take the scooter to the lake with a couple of Portuguese. There is a new kind of bird there these past weeks—irridescent purple and blue. Huge feet that balance on marsh grasses, so they actually walk on water. I marveled over the white mini-pterodactyls when they arrived in February. Ancient creatures. But the new arrivals look like birds of the future. No wonder they fly in the same time as the ashtangis from middle America and southern Europe.

Oh yeah, the scooter. Leave it to a child of the american West to equate wheels with freedom, but really I just needed to get back on the horse, in the shape of the most perfect and beautiful little red bike in Gokulam. My first riding incident took place a month ago, when my first yoga teacher lent me her Activa and I ran it straight in to a table of dining friends. You know that thing that happens when you confuse the accelerator with the brake? I don’t have the pontillist Sedarisian malice it would take to do the story justice, but there are now a couple of flickr photos of the aftermath. My first teacher –and now scooter teacher—was the only one in the group to shrug it off and tell me I’d figure it out soon enough. So when I extended the ticket I figured it was time.

The perfect little machine costs $9 and one or two mini humiliations a week. If you pro-rate postures by week, karandava’s about the same. An owl-duck would be a good mutation. We’ll see what evolves.

Evening walk