Yoga Sutras of Travel: Part 4
vrtti sarupyam itaratra
What is our identity?
It is not uncommon to mistake our personal identity with the temporary nature of the thoughts and the body. We say things like "I am sick" rather than "I am experiencing sickness", or "I am angry" rather than "I am moving through my anger". It might seem like I am playing mere semantics, but the difference in our internal experience can shift dramatically when we look at what things really are rather than attaching to a mistaken identity.
I had the opportunity to visit an art exhibit at Silo Park. The artist had taken a series of time lapsed videos of some of the most scenic views in New Zealand. Each shirt film was set to see the entire day in a few moments. You could observe the rise of the sun, the shift of the shadows across the mountains and the simultaneous setting of the sun with the rise of the moon. I found it fascinating to pay more attention to what stayed the same rather than to see what was so quickly changing shades of light and grey as the moments passed. How we just get so caught up in the changing tides of the moment that we think we are the shift rather than the constant.
We ventured to Waiheke island to visit the Saturday farmers market and then go spend some time on the beach. I tried to take this view of noticing what I was experiencing at each step with out fully attaching to it. When we arrived at the market I felt the normal morning hunger begin to kick in. hmmm Hungry, is not who I am, but I am fully experiencing this sensation. We found some amazing homemade treats and It was interesting to me that in the recognition that the hunger was a momentary shift, I could slow down and really sit with the sensations and fully live in the contrast of the first signs of discomfort all the way through to delighting in the tastes that danced on my tongue and satisfaction of a full belly when it was over. The awareness made the moment feel more alive and potent than my usual grab a bit and simply stuff down the hunger. I continued to observe my reactions to the play by play of my daily activities. When I started to feel a bit off from too much sun, it was really interesting to step back and allow myself to feel what was coming up and breathe more into the temporary nature of it. I actually found I could relax more even though I was experiencing discomfort. I was not indifferent to my experience. I was more present with my experience.
The ferry ride home I lost some of my concentration and kept nodding off on Brian's shoulder. I didn't want to sleep too early so I tried to read a bit more. I am currently reading Bill Lowenburg's The Zorki Chronicles. 200 pages in and I don't want to put it down. Bill's Characters are also on their own little search for who they are. Funny that I should start to read this now while I am on my own little journey.
Our next day or so will be more social and connecting with the local AcroYogi's in the community. We will head out to a park and play with the students.
2/16/2014 07:50:33 am
I love living vicariously through you! Thank you for sharing your journey and putting yourself out there. You continue to inspire me with your words. Blessings!!! Xo
2/16/2014 10:00:13 am
i quite liked this. admittedly, the first paragraph struck me and i spent some time chewing on that as i immediately thought back to my spanish studies. in spanish there are two versions of the verb "to be." one is for generally permanent statuses such as i am a woman. the other is for transient states such as "i am sick." it made me wonder if our own language gets in the way of our perception of reality because we have a weaker way of expressing the transient nature of certain sensations. i know it wasn't necessarily your point but it's what the links in my mind were.
2/17/2014 10:47:32 am
Thanks for the kind words about my book. Looking forward to discussing it when you return. I've always been interested in the ways people arrive at their identity. I used to photograph body builders, many of whom based their identity on their physical presentation to the world. Then I photographed demo derby competitors and their extended families, whose identities were more complex and interesting. When it came to creating fictional characters, it was fascinating to see the way they took on lives of their own as the story progressed. I'd be walking one day and all of a sudden think, "oh, he likes vanilla ice cream," when ice cream had nothing whatsoever to do with the story. I have no idea where stuff like that comes from. Now that the book is finished, I'm still learning new things about the characters. In the "real" world, I'm interested in the way people become attached to a particular concept of themselves. Sometimes it can be their salvation and sometimes their downfall.
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Boundless Yoga Staff & Students
We are continuously interested on how our reactions and responses to our personal journeys, albeit travel, adventure, new job, etc. mirror and reflect our social, emotional and spiritual ups and downs. We try every day to apply what we learn about ourselves on the yoga mat to our personal lives. Thank you for tuning in as we share some of those aspects with you.