Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Tree, tending to

I suck at sitting still. I can sit, but the still part, I've gotta work on. My mind is flighty, unmoored.

In this respect, being sick this past week, and not running, has given me something I had fallen out of touch with. I dusted off the mat and got back to yoga. Note to self: you get stiff quick if you don't put in some time.

And hitting a bit of the mental immersion back into practice, I read a bit of Patanjali's Yoga Sutra. I've always gleaned a lot from that honed style of writing, from The Bhagavad Gita, The Dhammapada, where you are reading fragments, distilled to the fewest words and simple cadence. In the introduction to the Yoga Sutra, Mark Whitwell talks about the "Sutra" style like this:

The style known as Sutra, that which has few words, yet is free from ambiguity, full of essence, universal in context and affirmative.

And with further study and practice, "the message takes on a deeper resonance and becomes more relevant, more revealing."

And that's sort of it. The cats who write like that, whether poetry, aphorism, sutra--few words, full of essence, universal in context, more relevant and revealing upon further reading--those are the folks I come back to.

Balance and patience don't come easy for me. But I also recognize how much trying to incorporate or practice each gives back to me. This time of year, cold but not enough snow to have fun in, too cold to dig being outside, I see photos of trails, of mountains, of singletrack through the woods, and I want to be there.

But, still being a new year, I also think about all the shit that I've left untended. That I've been meaning to get to, work on, read, what-have-you. One of those things for me is a book I'd forgotten about, John Fowles's The Tree, which kept getting bumped for something else, but is all those things I dig about reading and I settled into this morning. It could be one of those ass pocket of wonder books. We'll see.

Another one of those things is yoga. And as Patanjali says, "Yoga is the resolution of the agitations of the mind." I could use a little of that.

The other stuff? Well, I'm working on a list. I'll get back to you on that.

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