Sunday, September 30, 2012

From which center are u functioning? On naked yoginis, singing, and the yoga of deletion

I was speaking to my sounding board, Prachi Mallik, and she, with her ingenuous intuition, gives me an idea why I may be what I am .. I won't get into the aspect of the conversation about myself, because, of course, that would be an invitation to go on an ego trip.. Prachi operates from a very accepting, loving chakra.. and her analysis on some things are bang on. I think it comes from her Reiki background. I also think it is because she does it meditatively..

Any case, I was telling her I align a lot with the Mahadevi Akka (Karnataka)  and Lalleswari (Kashmir), both Shiva bhakts who disregarded social norms, were naked yoginis and who spoke of their Lord as they would of their beloved, unabashed. Their poems are very Sufi-like, pure connection.

It would seem this could be a fourth chakra mode, of bhakti. That is what the scholars will say. However, if you read their poems (the best translation of Mahadevi Akka is Ramanujan), you will find that the submissive quality of a bhakt is not there,but a more passionate, intense relationship.  Yes, their poems talk of their devotion, but  as equals to their Lord and not as submissive bhakts. So, I believe, maybe the scholars are wrong in always labelling bhakti as submissive. That is not a love of a devotee, but of a lover.  Something of a is a third-eye mode, something here, beyond love. A direct awareness that is intense, consuming..

When I sit to sing with Jayashree, suddenly I am  taking notes the way I know I can never take. Here I must take an aside on the energy a teacher brings -- I can only sing like that with her in front of me, catch nuances of a note the way she wants it. This is something that a great teacher gifts her/his  student. If you did not submit to a teacher completely, nor finely understand his/her giving, you will never vault high in your learning. If the humility does not remain, I myself believe, you will suffer the impact of that too.. it will creep up, somewhere. Even where I can take a note, without Jayashree around, it is her energy that keeps me up. I know that. This sort of learning is called gurumukhi. It can only happen with the permission and givingness of a teacher. If the teacher does not give it, your practice, without him/her, will also founder. You may not need the teacher around, but the teacher's shadow is what keeps your practice up. This teacher-student connection, only the clean-minded students understand this. They are as rare as good teachers:)

So, yes, something happens when Jayashree leads and I follow. Everything has a sense of complete stepping back. I am intensely aware of all that I feel, including anxiety to please her. But that is in the backdrop, as if it belongs to somebody else. I can feel the pinch in my throat as my voice tries to leap, like hers. I wonder if I am imagining the strain, and then, the lack of it. Then a pure note, and a complete connection to the note, unfettered. In that purity, it rises up and stays. Nothing moves, all is quiet. The moment is complete. That thing, I cannot name,  is what I hold, when I do my poses meditatively. Someplace, if at all I have a need, I wish to maintain a continuum of that experience. That is all I ask. Everything else I do, that is an act:) I believe I have been dead, a long, long, long while ago. Ash and dust.. all gone... Wind, air, dust, ether.. not here anymore.. That is my yoga.. it is a deletion...

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