Practice 6-8, Eyes of the World
I have wondered often if Tom lays out a plan of action for his classes. Or does he just walk in, feel the vibe and then let it guide him?
Last night he spoke referenced is life on the ashram, which is one of my favorite settings for his stories. He said that when he first started to live there he worked in the kitchen. He told us about a conversation between himself and one of his, I don’t know how to describe them: fellow yogi, housemate, ashram-mate, BOH-mate, friend…I’ll name him, Geek because it is the first word in the book I am reading (that makes sense right?)
Speaking in first person about a conversation you had with someone is easier than being the third party that retells it. Therefore, the following is how I imagine the conversation played out, based on the way Tom told about the conversation.
Tom: (washing dishes, shoulders rolled inwards, head down)
Geek: “Tom why is your posture telling me that you have something to complain about?”
Tom: “Well Geek, I am just getting down thinking about my relationship with my parents”
Geek: “Why, what is the nature of your relationship with your parents?”
Tom: “I harbor lots of resentment for them. Feelings of anger and sadness circle around my head whenever I think of them. My mother, she pushes my buttons”
Geek: “Tom, nobody pushes anyone’s buttons. Your mother merely points to yours and you push them”
Tom: (Looking up from his dishes at the stainless steel wall that faces him. All the barriers of space and time break away sending shards of neon light in all directions.)
Tom explained that Geek’s comment is meant to express the fact that we are in control of our thoughts, what we want to think or not think. When we fail to be aware of our control over our thoughts we become the victim. I enjoyed that story, especially because there are quite a few people to point to my buttons, I must have a whole shoe box full. To this I respond, no react rather, by pressing my own buttons. With this dialogue in mind, I will promise to be more aware of this situation, as I am sure it will continue to happen for the rest of my life.
Class was really wonderful. We started with hip-openers from the floor and just worked that into standing poses for the rest of the class. By the end of the class I felt really inward, like all my bones were turning towards their respective places on the mid line. During shavaasana Tom straightened me out and I began to have this wonderful dream that I was counting the freckles on my friend’s chest, simultaneously following his shoulder lines back and forth with my eyes. It feels amazing to remember the feelings that come from such arbitrary and irrational visions, but it is also a reminder of how fleeting the feeling of being satisfied in the moment is. Additionaly, it is a reminder of how precious it is to be here, now.
I wanted to share this page also because it is about Raga music, which we listened to last night.