Saturday, April 4, 2015

Boat builders

I build a boat. There are reeds and leaves and colorful powder. Picked buds along the road. And country coins that I've fished out of my purse: a rupee, twenty-five centavos from the Philippines, a penny, and an Egyptian pound. The peso coin I place on the stern of the boat, this is where I come from. The penny I place at the bow, because I know that is the direction I am going, I am returning to--also where I am from. And the other two in the center, Egypt and India, my heart openers. And I sprinkle my vessel with color, placing just a piece of tamarind on top--for sweetness, for this is the best description for this time here: it has been incredibly sweet! 

The four of us: boatbuilders, stealing a few precious moments before parting ways, packing up, boarding trains. So, here we are, constructing metaphorical ships, great carriers of what has transpired, of the great work of the last three months, of new hopes and clear(er) intentions, along the ceremonial ghats of the Cauvery River, exactly where we wanted to be, though we didn't exactly know it as we set off in a mad rush from Gokulam in search of flowing water.

Each boat means something special for each of us. Each are similar and each are unique. Each resonate. And in the end, the river swallows each of them; their journey is not meant for the surface. And I trust that regardless of the currents, their essence will empty into the sea.

For me the boat is the practice, it is my vehicle, my life raft, my home. It has carried me to so many places, some awesome destinations and some less than glamorous corners of the world. Then there are the other places: dark recesses of mind and ego, and then there are the expansive heart spaces... All together, they have made up the most incredible adventure of my life. 

So the season ends. Three months in Mysore closed. The practice, however, continues. The building, the traveling to new lands whether that is in miles or in kilometers (or in complete stillness) continues. We continue to build, to grow, to flow. 

Incredibly grateful to my fellow boat builders, particularly those who set sail with me on April 1. Louise, thank you particularly for this special and potent ritual. Even the local man at the ghat appreciated the sanctity of it as he helped us guide our boats into the water. I am grateful to ALL the boat builders, the dear friends and strangers that have made this experience called Ashtanga Yoga incredibly special. And to the Captain, the Boss, there are no words ample or subtle enough to express my gratitude.