I received the best timed email today from one of my previous teachers Luke Jordan. He is in Mysore at the moment, practicing with Pattabhi Jois and Sharath. His email was an update to all his students back in Dublin, probably eagerly awaiting his return! I hope he doesn’t mind me posting this but I just had to pass it on as for some reasons I just can’t find the words today…
…”What You Resist, Persists!
So this is India, but not as we know it. We are safely cocooned in a wealthy suburb of Mysore where we are well catered for by the Indians who take care of all the yoga student’s precious requirements. I’m emailing from Anu’s Internet Cafe where we can eat banana smoothies by the bowlful (yes, they’re thick and yummy) and then enjoy Anu’s homemade cooking (she is thankfully light on the chillies). Newbies to India still experience the culture shock and the little difficulties and annoyances, but those who were at the old shala or have travelled elsewhere around India will know how cushy it is here. I went for a walk in town yesterday and was happy to re-experience the lack of pavement, the cars and rickshaws careering around cows in the middle of the road, and the sensory overload of smells, colours, and nik-nak merchants clamouring for attention. Ahhh the chaos of India. I imagine that many of the Westerners who claim to have spiritual experiences in India have simply had their usual resistences and conditioning broken down by this full-on assault, leaving them available to experience something more than what they usually shut off from. We in the west tend to want our own way and India is a place were we are not going to get it. We have the choice… to resist and fight or to let go and surrender. The experience of being here is the continually invitation to accept what is as it is… including all the little imperfections.
And then we practice the same way. Resist and fight and it is a struggle, accept it as it is and you are free to ride the wave of the breath and experience the perfection of the moment as it is. Even when it is difficult!”
Luke Jordan 27th September 2008
…And so I sit back and see why India does what it does to people, or at least what it did to me.
It might sound strange or shocking but it was the shitty hard times that I loved the most!
Besides, aren’t they the stories that people always love to tell the most?
Isn’t chaos the time when you really feel and see?