Friday, July 22, 2011

Losing a diamond ring, moving on to the class

I lost a diamond ring, a three-tiered one, expensive one, this Wednesday. I know where I took it off... and also know rest of the stuff that always happens in retrospect:)
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The timing of realising it, that was just before my third class for the day started. Five minutes after I realised this,  I had to go directly into a class.I was sorely tempted to call off the class;  set off on a search for it. But students were  in; it was a full class. Some were talking to me, on things which would seem prosaic on any other day. But just then, even prosaic things were interfering with the loops my mind was rolling into, in its attempt  to recall how/ where the ring was gone,  if I had a small chance in its retrieval... . So as my mind tumbled, I am expected to get it back to a center, remain calm. I thought maybe I should call off that class, and the one following it, since my mind was still trying to revisit the moment  when I took off the ring,  my  mind naturally wanted me to hunt for it, etc.

And I am not rich enough, to just laugh off a loss like that, and continue to do what I must do!!!  However, I decided to brush off the moment. as if I was indeed, like that, rich:) So the class continued. For me, the most exciting thing in all that was (hey, now the ring is gone, it was a good time for mind-watching) was that, the mind was going back to its chatter on the ring. And I had to drag it back to the present, the class, and give it my all. For me, this too is meditation!!

The challenge was being upped for me, even more:  this was a mixed class, with most of the students  still fresh to my style of yoga.  So I am required to give each one individually a lot of attention. Plus, there was somebody very ill in the class. So, I did not have the luxury of putting my mind into auto mode (which I can in an advanced or intermediate level class:). So there I was, required to fix the mind even more into present and now, in that class, when all that the poor mind of mine wanted was to think of the ring and try and find it:)  Then from there, I had to go into another class, with just a few minutes break, which also was being eaten up by some students wanting to ask me about diet!  Again, I am required to be what I chant: Om Shantih, Shantih, Shantih.

It was as if I was three things: one concerned about the ring. Another self of mine trying to retrieve my mind, drag it towards a calm center. And the third one, watching over these two. It was a rather powerful moment of vi-yoga for me (a yoga of separation, when you can watch several parts of yourself at one go: where the different aspects of the mind may be watched, to align with something(the witness, Drushtha)  that watches over all these watching selves!!)

I realised in that moment  that peace of the mind may be thing that may be created like this: even when there was provocation from outside through  very demanding things. Yet,  you decide to bring it back to a center that has been learnt through your practice. This was the most wonderful thing the loss of the ring taught me. This sort  peace u can create,  where there is chaos (in the mind): this peace  seems to be more real for me these days. That we can keep on creating this. It is a fragile thing. But this is what I am learning as I practice or teach!  So, in a manner of speaking that diamond ring, lost as it was, was becoming worthy of its shine.. If u get what I am saying...
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The second class too, I was tempted to cancel, thinking perhaps I must look for the ring. But again, I put that aside, and proceeded because if the ring was lost and I had to look for it, or think about it, it could wait  ... and the class went  on, just as if all is normal within me...And just as in the other class, I am joking and laughing. Getting the students to try some new pose. Then the class ends, and one straggler is there (she is a regular visitor to this blog too, so will be reading this too). Then she is talking on, as usual, since she is rather fond of me. Then, to wind her up, I say that I must now go to look for my diamond ring, which I realised I had lost. She tuts, tuts. Then  offers to help. Then, seems to forget the offer,  tries to push all the wrong buttons in me(she enjoys that too, as she has been told by me often:), by beginning to discuss a Rs 250 buck walk-in payment that may be pending from last class!! Uh??!! I am now tempted, seriously,  to launch into a violent, wounded, entirely justified diatribe on the absolutely wrong choice of timing to discuss that piddling thing... But again, I don't do that. I step back from that final provocation and once more am invited to watch all these several minds rise inside of me, rise  and subside... .This watching the mind, it is as if it is all in slow motion. It is rather a fantastic experience.
Then I chose to, deliberately, to  raise my voice lightly, to shake her off (I do that  only because that was the only effective thing to, in a situation like that since she had, as usual, overstayed by half-hour:). I  realise, that this  finale to that Diamond loss was also just right. That childish provocation. Again, I am being tested to see if I can manage to retain my calm under that ...Oh, wow, wow!!
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So, yes, when I chant Om Shantih, Shantih, Shantih... sometimes I feel myself inching closer to that fragile peace. It feels beautiful. In that ring lost, I had gained some insight... It was the karma of that ring, maybe, to teach me that lesson... I am hugging that... more valuable than its price tag.
Oh, later on, when my mind was allowed the luxury to re-spoor the steps back to where I did drop the ring, who could have possibly taken it, I did have some suspects in my mind. But I realised that if the ring was lost, I wanted to let it go... It will find its own karma again, with the person. But for me, I want to be done with that moment. Not carry it into my life as regret.(Hey, I want Moksha, and cannot be reborn for a damned silly ring!!)  I think of the person/s who had a chance to take that... I have no ill feeling. It is now their baggage. I dropped mine, when I lost it. This too is a beautiful feeling.The sort of lightness u feel in an extremely exciting and challenging pose... the sense of floating. This is my yoga:)

Here are my stories, that I remember about my Sadguru, Swami Sivananda...
One day, a disciple came running to Swami Sivananda, distressed that a sadhu who was being given free food and shelter in the ashram, had stolen his shawl. The disciple knew this because he found this shawl hidden in the belongings of that sadhu.   Swamiji shushes the disciple and tells him to go put the shawl back. "Whatever made that poor fellow take it, let it be. Let him keep it. Also, do not indicate to him that you know he took it. It will make him feel bad." That is my guru:)

The other story:
One day there was a very valuable donation made to the ashram. Swamiji tells his  disciples to watch over it. The next day the disciples wake up to find the donation completely missing. They want to hunt the ashram, lodge a complaint and all in a tizzy.  Swamiji only laughs loudly. He says, "The thief is  a better yogi than u all!! He moved so silently, managed to hoodwink you all and steal from right under your nose. " Let it go, he said!!

Well, I can imagine that such an attitude is fit for a saint, and  would be unfit for us, in our karma sannayasi lives. But after a loss, if u can move on, that could be real yoga...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My wife lost her wedding ring... we think it went down the garbage disposal. I still cringe as I can hear in my mind the grinding...