Monday, December 5, 2011
the revolving door
The shala has a revolving door. People come and people go. This is a fact in these parts, evidenced by Sharath's voice doling out new start times continuously. Overnight, it feels, old faces go missing while new faces peer into the door in the later morning hours.
I'm approaching my second month, and I am amidst month no. 2's exodus in which a good number of those who are in my intimate circle, with whom I spend the most time with, who make up my beautiful support system here, must go. Most have already gone. My entire island crew have flown homeward or to their designated pit stops. At this moment, my roommate Claudia is waiting for her flight at Bangalore airport. And I find myself wadding through this wave of change. Last week, I felt physically drained. This week, I am emotionally tender.
Noticing the sudden disappearances of those I am not even close to also takes a toll. We get used to the energy of people we see day to day. We fall into each others' routines, we bump into each other at breakfasts, on the street, at the store to visit the chocolate man. We form silent relationships with people with whom we share an inch or two of communal space between mats in the shala. Without knowing, our breaths and movements merge in a symphony of yogic energy, quiet and potent.
It's hard not to mourn the sudden absence of such intense connections. Nor should we stop ourselves from honoring the gift of them, those who genuinely share themselves so openly in such a short amount of time.
But I am also reminded that this is a part of the Mysore experience, that there is a transitoriness to the friendships that are forged here. Some will exist only here, reuniting during serendipitous trips to the shala. Others will continue virtually over Facebook or Skype. Some will crossover and reconnect through the tight-knit ashtanga world. One thing is for sure, the shared experience of being here creates very special bonds.
For me, I feel, this is a time to practice non-attachment, hard as it is. We must embrace those that come and we must release those that go. The connections that enrich this time is still separate from our practice. Their road is different from ours. This is just a reminder to stay cool and steady amidst a sea of constant change.
Part of the change is also good. As new blood cycles in, they bring with them new energy, new insights, and new adventures. In the end, we are all a part of this amazing place, we are all passing through this revolving door.