Sunday, September 30, 2007

Why to go to work?

Besides getting some money to pay the rent, food and clothes it is a playing field to exercise detachment and concentration. I experience myself, how I communicate with different people.

It needn't to be 8 or even more hours a day. Bed time again. I spend almost the entire Sunday in bed, sleeping, I was so tired.

Slow and steady

After a break it is almost not possible not to be a bit overstretched after the first practice. I was so attentive and careful when I restarted, but fact is I was a bit overstretched today. Not much, but a bit. I practiced carefully today as well. I saw that only my fingertips could touch the floor when I did the first surya namaskara a. More was not possible. But during the practice I got better.

It was so much more important to me not to injure myself again. I also wanted to stay on the mat. And I stayed. I did breaks from time to time, then I concentrated on my breath, but I remained on the mat.

I thought that I wanted to keep my body as long as possible as beautiful as it is now. This is always a great motivation for me.

I'm glad and content that I had such a good practice. I feel relaxed, very relaxed.

Zazen: It's easier to do it earlier in the morning. I changed the sitting position 2 times today. Lotus pose supports the back, it's the most perfect pose for this activity (or passivity?). Today it was more an activity: too much movement. I thought: when will it be over? when will it be over? Today I didn't get the calm out of it as usual. Next time perhaps again. Tomorrow I will sit again at 5: 20 a.m. Then I will be much more quiet than at 9:30.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Concentration

I practiced. It was better than yesterday. Slowly I get back to the strength and flexibility that I had before my little break. I remained on the mat, I was focused on the breath. The challenge was to accept that I wasn't that flexible and not so strong either. I didn't omit an asana, I did them all. Longer than usual I sat in lotus pose and breathed deeply and evenly.

I was concentrated and this is a form of strength too, inner strength.

I can be happy. My back still hurts, but only a little bit. To go slowly into the poses is important.
That's what I've learned from the last injury.

The sun starts shining. I will walk downtown. Boyfriend will come with me. He is back from Sweden and busy with his emails as usual.

Friday, September 28, 2007

I knew the breath would help

I started practicing yoga again after a few days of doing nothing. It was a painful practice, but I was careful. I focused on the breath. This helped enormously not to feel that much pain.

The body tightens at once. After a few days of not practicing, it was as if I had another body.

I moved my new body from one asana to the other, I took it easy.

I will put some Alpa now on my back. That was it.

Yes, I also meditated. I went to bed a bit later as usual. Nevertheless I feel refreshed. I think that my practices give me energy. But let's see how I will feel in the afternoon.

So much work is waiting for me on my desk. At the moment I'm rather optimistic that I will manage it.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

I did not even role out my mat this morning

It is noticed that my back still hurts. It's painful to bend forward. I will give my back the time to heal. No yoga today. I didn't even role out my mat. But perhaps I still should do this in order to sit in lotus pose for a while. I think this is a good idea.

I even didn't go to Mysore class yesterday. It is as it is.

Weekend is coming and there is time, a lot of time and hopefully my back will be better then. Then I can practice again. How I miss it.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

A picture


A picture, something for the eyes. I hope I can do yoga tomorrow.

Mental challenges

To focus and not to judge.

There are mornings like this

I got up at 5 a.m. I had cramps in my stomach and my lower left back hurt awfully. I slept very well, but as soon as I was up these pain were felt. Like an old woman I trudged into the kitchen to prepare my cup of black coffee. Decision was made when I arrived: 3 morning pages today, Zazen (20 min), no Ashtanga or only a few suryas to check, if I would be able to go to the Mysore class this evening.

Zazen: I sat down on my cushion, my new watch laid on the floor next to me. I thought: Karen, no scratching today. Session started. Then my hair touched my eyelashes on the left side. Focus was there at once. And focused sticked to it, I couldn't stand it, it tickled me. To put my hair away is no scratching, I thought. Done. But then the scratching session started, like never before. I cursed loudly: Verdammt (damned). I never say fuck it. This I leave for the Americans. We have no equivalent in German language. Sometimes I say shit (in German). As so often I wrote a lot of posts mentally. It was a good session, because I found it very funny.

What do we learn: It is better to focus on the breath than on no scratching.

Ashtanga: I did 2 suryas to check the status of my body. Fuck it. I'm not sure if I'm able to go to Mysore class today. I will take my mat and my clothes to work. Decision can be made later.

Last night at 10:20 p.m. my boyfriend called me from Sweden. He woke me up. He wanted to hear my voice. He can call me anytime when he wants to tell me such things.

Yes, a new task for me: I have to accept that my body needs time out sometimes.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Suddenly ....

....I see that some of my acknowledged successes in my life could only establish because at a certain point of my life I started to deny myself. This creates pain not only for me alone.

My friend A. told me yesterday: you must function, this is important. This made me laugh. Yes, I function.

I want to do yoga all the time. But this is a misunderstanding of the whole thing. Yoga prepares for life. It might be life itself, but not only, there is more than Ashtanga yoga.

"The world exists to be seen and discovered," this wonderful title I found in the book by Desikachar "The heart of yoga". This sentence shall guide me for a while now.

My post seems to be heavy, but it isn't. I feel good, even adventurous. I like to go to work tomorrow. I'm looking forward to my vacation with E. next week, we will fly to Mallorca, Spain. I'm still curious about so many things. I only hope that my back doesn't hurt tomorrow. I want to practice. Good night.

The shower

I must dedicate a post this wonderful invention. How nice it is to stand in the tube and feeling the warm water of the shower on the body. It is so relaxing, so wonderful, pure luxury.

Always the same stories

I arrived at work. Then it is the custom to go from office to office to greet the colleagues, who are already in. Big boss wanted me to stop at his office, he wanted to talk to me. By the way he is a very good boss, he has a lot of expertise, helps whereever he can. He was not sure if I was able to do the job. I was very astonished. It came out that a colleague has complained about me. I shall not be willing to do the stuff of former years. THIS IS NOT TRUE. I listened, I asked questions and I did not forget to mention that I do not feel the slightest resistance to do any work. Why should I? Where is the difference when I work on the year 2006 or 2007. I asked who complained about me, but I didn't get an answer on that question. I suspect it was my colleague, who sits in my room.

On my desk again I was very sad and disappointed.
And now I'm sad and disappointed that such a story can have such an influence on me. hahaha. (Sadness has also a certain beauty.) Why not staying cool? Fact is this event has also advantages. It's easier now to be detached to that job. Will I stay there forever? I'm so self-confident to say that I make mistakes like everybody, but in sum I deliver good work. Why is always someone at the office who is complaining about me a hierachy up? And I have to justify myself somehow and I am with the back (with my back, that still hurts) pressed against the wall. This I ask myself.

The day is over. I was concentrated on my work, I was productive. I was the last who went, but I'm also the last, who comes due to my spiritual exercises at home.

The story is perhaps a sign to stay attentive, what happens around me. I decided to see it this way.

Obstacles on the yoga way

I just read in the book by Desikachar "The heart of yoga":

He mentions 9 obstacles on the yoga way:
- to feel ill or unwell
- moods
- doubt
- to act carelessly, acting in haste
- resignation
- to think we know everything
- disappointment, when we notice how less we know

Overcoming obstacles: tips are in the book, too.

Pranayama shall help.
To investigate the blocks is another tip.
To look for people who overcame great obstacles and to learn from them is another one.

Damned I have to dress, I must go to work.

Too weak to stand pain


This is my new meditation watch with the little bag. The display is large, this is good as my eyes are no more the best. It is possible to end the set time by a sound, by vibration or by light. The sound is soft and I can set it louder.
I think it is a helpful tool, nevertheless my Zazen practice was rather fluttered this morning. I moved a lot, changed the position of the legs i.e., scratching happened.
Ashtanga: I only did a few surya a and one surya b. I was too weak to stand the pain in the left lower back, so I allowed me to stop.
Pain and injuries are part of the way. I see it when I check the key words at stat counter, I read it in other blogs and I experience it by myself. Bodies are different. I'm lucky that my body is rather strong. I'm sometimes not attentive enough. But also when I'd be attentive injuries would happen. How to deal with it? Best thing is to accept it. This is a challenge. I'm relieved that I didn't practice. I didn't like to feel pain this morning. I will put some Alpa on my back and I will hope that the pain will dissappear very soon.
Phone call with A. yesterday: She told me that she is going from one funeral to the next. The mother of her husband passed away and the husband of a common friend of us. Both were too young to die. The topic made my feelings heavy. I thought I have missed my whole life. It is as if I have always to start from point zero, which makes me crazy, because I'm no more so young.
Boyfriend is in Sweden. He mailed me from one of his favourite restaurants. I was there, too already. It's really a good one. He is happy when he gets good food. I like it to see him happy.

Monday, September 24, 2007

My meditation watch arrived

I will have to study how to use it. It looks very nice and it is handy. But how to use it?????

Incredible bad practice :)

It was incredible bad my practice today. So bad, that I thought this cannot be true:
I had pulled the lower left back last week, on Friday, it was while bending forward into utthita parsvottanasana. Now it hurts. In addition I was too long in the car without any movement in the last 2 days. Perhaps it was also the glass of wine that I had during lunch time yesterday. Too much food perhaps? But I gained only a little bit weight. I checked it this morning. It was painful today. 40 minutes I stayed on the mat, I practiced very slowly, I had to.

To know the reasons might help to avoid injuries or bad practices. But they will occur, also when I know all the reasons.

I gain knowledge on bad practices:
-Most important, nothing remains for ever. After some bad practiced good ones follow sooner or later.
-It can be learned to accept it, to feel mercy with the own inabilities.
-Injuries occur, after 2 days it gets worse, and then slowly they disappear.

I stayed on my mat during the length of my practice. Of course I could curse, because I felt pain. I focused on my breath and on my attitude: accept what is, I told me. I also had no choice than to think so.
No led class for me this evening. My body needs very soft treatment now.

Zazen: I need this watch. 2 times I looked at my little arm watch. It's 2 times too often.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Weekend at my parents home

No yoga, not Zazen. Instead I sat in the kitchen of my mother and I had some cups of coffee in the early morning on Sunday. I ate sandwiches with self-made jam. We chatted. It was all very relaxing.

Everything was perfect. My mother knows how to do a perfect dinner.
My suitcase was full of self-made jam, apples from the garden, cakes, and and and when we drove back to Munich. I leave my parents home with more things than I give, even though it was my mother's birthday.

Bed time. Early in bed, early up. hahaha.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

It was sloppy today

My Zazen practice was not concentrated and my Ashtanga practice was sloppy.

But I won't judge. My spiritual adventures go on and I like it.

Every day I do the same things and it is never the same. That's what B, my yoga teacher tells the Ashtanga beginners. And it is so true. I can practice a hundred time urdhva dhanurasana, each time the form is the same, but it will never be exactly the same performance. Feelings, thoughts that accompany this asanas change as well. That's the adventure.

I must hurry now. At 12 we want to be on the road again to B. My parents are already waiting.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Weekend started at the stones



It was crowded there. I found a little space for me to sit and to start my weekend quietly.

It will be busy the weekend, we will drive to my parents home. My mother has her birthday. I hope she will like the gifts, I ordered also flowers and she loved flowers.

On Sunday at 6 p.m. we will have to be back at Munich's airport. E. will fly to Sweden for a week, a business trip.

Lunch time with my colleague on the bench was nice. No problem to find subjects to talk about: accounting, education of children (he has 2 girls), travelling, the 70s and so on. He met his wife with 16 and they stayed together. It was a relaxing lunch break.

And now I hope that boyfriend will come home soon. He is already on his way home. He at least told me this, but it can always happen that he will meet someone, then it will take longer till I will sit in the Indian restaurant round the corner. Hungry I am.

For a change

For a change I don't blame E. that I didn't get up on time this morning (even though he woke me up late at night, because he returned late and loudly from his business dinner).

It was 5:40 something when I got up. I had to make difficult decisions. Which of my spiritual exercises should I omit, which should I do?????
1. OK, black cup of coffee first.
2. I wrote a few sentences in my journal. The worst profession for me would be if I were a secret agent. Oh, I would be able to find out the secrets, but I wouldn't be able to keep them for myself.
3. Then I did Zazen (20 min): beautiful like every day.
4. Then I did a few suryas a and b.

This was my spiritual morning carousel. I love every single activity.

What I found out: Lately in the led Ashtanga classes we learned how to do a correct urdhva mukha svanasana. Important is to stretch and strain the legs, so that the back is unburdened. I did this when I was already in the pose. But it is much better to start pulling up the knees and straining the legs before going down into chaturanga dandasana. Straight and strained let should be held when moving into urdhva mukha svanasana. To do a correct urdhva mukha svanasana is so much easier then. The pose feels much better.

A colleague asked me yesterday, if I I'd like to spend lunch time with him on Friday. I was a bit reluctant, but then I thought that it is better than to read all the time. He wants to sit on a bench with me. He wants to smoke, he already warned me. I don't mind. I think to meet a human being is better than to read. It's more lively. I really don't know what we can talk about. This scarcely happens in my life.

The weather: Sunny, sunny, ahhhh, so nice.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

I just decided

Tomorrow is a new day.

Atmosphere in the cellar

It had atmosphere. I went to this tango party. It was in a cellar round the corner. In the entrance hall was a sofa, a table and some chairs. Nothing fit together. I like this, the courage not even to try to be perfect. In the dancing room were 2 couples and the teacher Sonja. I watched the couples, but I felt part of the group. They didn't dance well, but with a lot of passion and they liked what they did. I found the people friendly, also the couple in the entrance hall was nice. We talked a bit about dancing. After a while I went home. Sonja invited me to come next Thursday at 7 a.m.. I really consider this.

Tango, why not.

It is....

......as if I have no influence at all on nothing . Why do I not give up then. All efforts - during years - all in vain. All battles were lost before they have already started.

I go out now - a Tango party is round the corner.

I start the day when it is dark

I practiced this morning (like every day). Breaks happened(on the mat) , I filled them with breathing on the mat.

Yoga is a concentration exercise for me at the moment.

I'm very thin now, this improves my yoga. I was careful today. I felt that my body needed an easier practice. Back bending today.

Zazen: Yes, this I did, too, and it was good, too. Yesterday I finally ordered this meditation watch. I don't want to look at my watch at least one time during my sitting session. I can scarcely read my watch anymore. Looking at it interrupts me in my sitting activity.

To be in the present, that's my credo for today.

The weather: it can be described in one word: it's cold here.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

So powerful

3 people we were today at the Mysore class: the woman from Japan, a man from Poland and me. I like it to practice next to M. We have the same speed and the same attitude.

I had power today, I was attentive, but no mercy. I did what was possible and I think this was a lot. I was also very happy with the progress in urdhva dhanurasana. It was so good. Yeah.

My little excursion yesterday showed me that life can only be lived, not dreamed. Even modest events are better than a dreamed live. There is no such think like a dreamed life. No daydreaming today, they just didn't appear in the mind. I'm detached.
I had a very good working day. I was concentrated, worked on "problems". I was present.

And now I have 45 min for my evening routine.

In the here and now

I was out yesterday and I came home late. This does not prevent me from getting up at 5 a.m.. Detachment and enjoying the here and now is getting my attitude towards life. I'm rather centered now, that pleases me. Do my practices show first results?

Zazen: 20 wonderful minutes. I was rather quite. Only once I scratched my nose. I got back to the breath all the time. I can sit, I can stand myself without running away. I don't need music, I don't need a book or phone calls. I can sit, I can be alone with me without distraction from outside and it pleases me.

Ashtanga yoga: I stayed on the mat. My breath guided me through the practice. When I felt the impulse to leave the mat, I took a break on the mat instead, focusing on the breath. My practice became a concentration exercise. Next time I will focus on a relaxed face. :)

Detachment, the here and now, being attentive - this I want to live today.

The weather: It's rainy, cold. I put on my boots yesterday the first time of this year.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Focus

I stayed on the mat this morning. Breaks were taken on the mat. Focus is more and more important. Life takes place on the mat when I practice.

Led class yesterday: The beautiful Japanese woman put her mat next to mine. We know each other from Mysore class. I meet her everywhere. I guess we have the same addiction. She is very focused on her practice, it's nice to see it. Usually she practices very slowly, she told me. On my right side practiced a man, ambitious, too. The class started, B. explained some basics to the beginners, while he was exercising asanas from the second series. This is impolite, but he might feel inner forces to do these asanas. I know him from other classes, he does not know the sequence of the first series. There are different sorts of ambition. I feel it, he will stop doing Ashtanga.

My utthita hasta padangusthasana was so stable yesterday. I didn't move at all, I held the positions during 5 breathes, eyes were focused, bandhas used, breath very deep. And this happened while I was standing between all these wobbling beginners. I stood like a column, as if nothing can shatter me. This Ashtanga practice is an adventure.

Zazen: Wonderful. I sat quite this morning, relaxed, stories came up, but this is part of the game, I guess. To stay so quite, to try to observe only and doing nothing can influence my life. Yes, please.

Monday, September 17, 2007

No idea for a blog titel today :)

Zazen: Body was still, mind had it's stories. I always got back to one of the questions I have in mind. Amazing today was that I stopped the session exactly after 20 min. This makes me question if a meditation clock is good or if it is better to develop a feeling for the time. On the other side, most of the sessions are characterized that I look at my watch several times. I buy one. I made a decision right now. Then I have a choice. I loved my sitting session.

Ashtanga yoga: I felt that it would be difficult to stay on the mat without a break outside of the mat. But I wanted to stay. I found out that it is good to get to know the point before the action starts. Today I was attentive and when I felt the urge to leave I took some deep breath, put my hands together in front of my chest and I stayed quite. Then I could go on, as I wished. Practice was very good. I was focused, flow was experienced. To stop these little breaks outside of my mat intensified my practice enormously. It became somehow clear that I want to be on the mat for this hour, I want to keep the energy on the mat. No time for all of the asanas. It's OK.

As soon as I had written the last post yesterday, I clicked on stat counter. I had just written that I didn't like to do it and it was done a fracture of a second later. Automatically. I didn't even notice it at first. When I saw the stats I knew that I had clicked on it. That's not good. So I know that I do the right exercise. No checking of the stat counter today. It's not important to know how many readers I have and it is not important who is reading. (I only hope that nobody, who knows me is reading, but this I cannot avoid by checking). This little habit became too automatically, too compulsive. Let's see what happens today.

Phone call with B.:
Me: What do you think, how long will we like it? Till 60?
(It's clear what "it" is, we always speak about "it")
She: Till we will die!
Me: OMG, hahaha.
She: My parents did it till my father passed away. He was 75 when he died.
Me: Oh.
She: Yes, and now my mother wears his underwear from time to time as a sign of her mourning.
Me: That pleases me.

I ask me if her mother has told her this, but probably it was like this.

The weather: Sunny in the beginning, later of the day it will be rainy. That's what the weather report promises. I must stretch my leg out to the balcony in order to know what to dress.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

A last check

No checking of the stat counter for a week (till Friday evening) from now on. It showed already compulsive signs, so it's difficult not to check.

I know people, who cannot work anymore because of such ticks. They are leaving their homes i.e. and then they think: perhaps I have forgotten to switch off the light, they return. Then they think: the oven, I have to check, if it is still on. My friend, a therapist told me once about a client, who couldn't go to work anymore, because they couldn't stop checking, whatever.

I think every activity that is done automatically on a daily basis or even more often is worth to be watched closer. So let's see what happens when I do not check the stat counter. Let me see what happens, when I get control over this habit.

The weather: Hot it was, summer came back. Walked around with sandals.

In the park

So early in the morning on a Sunday only joggers and people with dogs were in the park. I wanted to take a few photos.
What do I need I thought when I was sitting on a bench warming my cold feet:
- a watch with a compass
- a meditation clock
- 2 yoga mats (a good one and one to carry around)
- some fancy clothes, 1 or 2 pieces of nice jewellry
- a journal and a pen
- a book for entertainment
- glasses (and sunglasses)
- some make-up, lipstick, mascare, a little mirror, parfum
- a PC
- a camera
- telephone numbers of friends and a mobile phone
- a handbag
- credit card and a bank account.
Did I forget anything? I don't think so.

4:10

I got up at 4:10 a.m, because I wanted it, no other reason. I stretched myself 10 min in bed, but then with a swing the legs were out of the bed. (I woke up at 1 a.m. this night and then I couldn't sleep for a while. This made getting up an hour earlier not that easy.)

Ashtanga yoga: I'm far away now from pure corrections of the asanas. Concentration was the focus today as well. I stayed on my mat, I didn't run away. Breaks were allowed, but only on the mat. I didn't feel the impulse to make breaks outside my mat today. I focused on the breath, emphasizing the inhaling in order to make inhaling an exhaling even. The breath accompanied me from the beginning to the end of my practice. There are improvements re the execution of the asanas, but at the moment this is of minor importance. Practice was great, attentive, concentrated.

Insights from yesterday: a most beautiful face can have most awful thoughts.

Zazen: Oh, yes, crazy, lively, but the body was (almost) still. Once I had to yawn. Once I looked at my watch. Was that all?

The weather: It was a summer day yesterday. So warm. I didn't need a jacket. And today it seems to become a similar warm day. It's early in the morning, but the sun is already shining. I can have the windows open. The colors of the trees show that fall arrived, the weather shows perhaps one of the last time of this year a summer face.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Oh, she has a wish


My mother has a wish for her birthday, that's great, an exception. She wants mixtures of spices from one of the most famous chefs of Germany.

I walked downtown this morning to one of his famous shops. These shops are no shops, they are churches. Reverently the clients, dressed in expensive tissue, admire the mixtures of spices. Even the shop was crowded, it was absolutely silent. I found the spices for my mother. And then I really laughed out loud. I couldn't hold me back. There were in one of the shelves little bags with sex spices. I thought: Who is so (fill in the word by yourself) to fall into such a trap. Now I know at least 1 person, who fell in.......iiiii.

Sex spices, the mixture, here it is: sweet pepper, curcuma, cinnamon, garlic, cardamon, chillies, coriander, ginger, leaves of roses, vanilla. (It fits to all meals!?!)

This Mr Schubeck is a damned good sales person.

I stayed on the mat or a key event or the breath, my friend

Ashtanga yoga: After the first surya namaskaras I had again the feeling that I have to leave the mat. But I remained on my mat, I put the palms together, kept them in front of my chest and took a few deep breaths. Then I continued with 5 surya namaskara b today. After these suryas there was again a much slighter impulse to leave the mat, but I stayed again.

It became such a focused concentrated practice, really excellent. I could hear the breath during the entire practice. It was deep and even. My breath, my friend, it helped me to stay relaxed, but concentrated.

I can stay on my mat, when I want it. I can stay even though I experienced an inner impulse (which happens automatically, every day) to leave the mat. I can drive the bus by myself. Not only inner forces, that I do not even know make me doing things. Today I interrupted one of the habits I didn't like. I have done it once, I can do it twice and three times as well.

I don't want to say anymore: Oh, I regret what I have done, I didn't know what had happened......

Only 2 further exercises I will make public, then I won't mess up the blog anymore with stories where I want to prove myself that I can have control over my own life.
The next exercise will be that I get up at 4 in the morning. I will take E. to the airport this evening. He will be on a business trip again. I can go to bed early. It's a routine already to get up at 5, on Sunday morning I will get up at 4 because I want it. This should be doable.
The third exercise will be much more difficult: I won't check from Monday to Friday how many readers I have and who is reading. Oh, this is a difficult task for me. I'm so curious all the time. My award: I will go to one of the most luxurious saunas here in town. I know one in the 13th floor in the best hotel downtown. It's possible to swim outside to a balcony. From there the most famous church of Munich can be seen. I love it to do anything with my body, so this should be a reasonable motivation.

Zazen: Body was not quite, scratching from time to time, even speaking. Speaking. OMG. To practice alone has different challenges than to be in a group. But it was good. Not once I thought that it is a waste of time when I sit, however it is. At the end I pretend washing my body with my hands. I start with the face, arms, body, legs, feet. It's like a massage. Then I bow forward, front on the floor, palms of the hands are together and above the head. I do this forward bending 3 times. I like rituals and especially this one.

The weather: It promises to become one of the more fresh fall days. But to wear a jacket is enough. This is for me the best weather to stroll around. Wind, a bit rain then sun again, freshness, colors from red to green a blue sky. Fall is a beautiful season.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Action in the kitchen, or what has to be done must be done

I attacked the laundry the dishes, the dust and and and and. No discussion. I started and I can see first results. I have a break now. I limited the cleaning time, because I know that I'm more effective when time is limited.

And all this after a really crazy day. Today I stood in front of the office and then I noticed that I had forgotten my purse with the entrance key. This meant I couldn't go in, in order to work. Firstly I had to found someone to open the door. It turned out to be funny, because I met colleagues in another floor and they told me that it will cost 0,50 Euro. I have to fill in a form and the boss has to sign it. As if I have nothing else to do.

I had no money for lunch, so I stayed at the office and I thought: why to be dependant from eating. So I ate a banana and stayed at the office during lunch time. I found out that it is not necessary to eat. hahaha.

Another colleague lent me some money so that I could buy me a ticket for the subway.

My plan for tomorrow (already mentioned in an earlier blog): Tomorrow I want to stay on my mat, breaks are only allowed on the mat. Oh, how awful I am to myself, no walking around tomorrow, no looking into the mirror, only concentrated practice on my black mat. Yes.

Time to go on.

On this morning

Zazen: It has had the promised effect. At the end I was much calmer than in the beginning. Body didn't move. Breath was important.

Ashtanga yoga: The only goal I have for the next weeks is to stay on my mat, when I need or want to make a break. I don't want to run away anymore. I don't want to leave the mat. The breaks can be long or short, but I must stay on my mat. Is this a limitation? To stay on that little mat? I don't think so, because I run away automatically and I want to stay. This morning I only left the mat twice. Firstly to wake up E., but he didn't get up. This was predictable. The second time I suddenly noticed that I wasn't on my mat anymore. Automatically, too. Next time I want to stay and to face what happens when I stay.

I'm alone. This is a not a bad message and not a good message. This is a fact. Why am I sad then? I cannot make responsible anybody for my failures, for my successes, for my life. I also do Zazen for me, I do Ashtanga yoga for me, I do other activities for me, too. Perhaps others can use it or profit from it. When I'm relaxed this is nice for others, too. But I do it for me. There is only one person in this whole world, who can live my life and this is me.

I react too automatically on outside events (perhaps also inside events). This I regret later. Who reacts is the question, when I regret it later?

The weather is always the most important message. It is a wonderful sunny fall day in Germany. It's a bit fresh, but this is nice. The leaves of the trees change to red, and in the sunlight the trees look very beautifully. A jacket is needed, but not a coat. The weather invites me to stroll around.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

The morning routine - I'm back to it

Zazen: What an emotional sitting today. Body remained quite. That's something new, because I'm very prone to move when I have emotions and if it is that I scratch my head. Today I stayed quite. Everything took place in my head only. Nothing happened. I was sitting, obviously, what made me so unsettled? 20 min passed even faster than the other days.

Ashtanga yoga: Then I was almost happy that I could concentrate on more harmless topics: how to keep the back straight, how to breath equally, how to do a correct adhu mukha svanasana and so on.
I thought about my breaks that I do after the first surya namaskaras almost every day. Most of the time I leave the mat for a while, walk around, look into the mirror. Yes, I still exist, still beautiful. Then I go back. Now I want to stay on the mat. I will allow me to take a break as long as I want, but I want to stay on the mat. Let's see what will happen the next days.

Concentration was on the breath today. When I take a bit less ambition as ingredient for the practice, the practice itself is more joyful. After the practice it is a bit less satisfying with less ambition. Different doses of ambition might be diversified. Good, that I have the choice.

Let me quote James Brown: I feel good, the weather is fine.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Mysore class

4 woman we were today, all very committed, the familiar situation.

It was wonderful like ever.
I lost strength. Who cares. I'm happy that I can practice again.

Before practice I met one of the students in front of B.'s door. I preached how important it is to practice detachment, even to the yoga practice. Hahaha.

Urdhva dhanurasana was good. I was very astonished. Bed time again.

Zazen today "only"

I never thought that just to sit could become a place of refuge for me. I sit and stories come up, justifications, funny stories, what life entails. But there is no need to do anything, there is no need to act or react or even think about it or feel anything. I needn't be involved anymore. I can relax. It's only me who remembers, gets entertained.

In the beginning of the session, I notice that I often have my eyes closed. But I don't want to go on sleeping only in sitting position. So I open my eyes, I keep them half open, half closed. In one of my books I read that this symbolizes that one looks inside oneself, but also outside into the world. Good idea.

The 20 min are over so fast. But it's nice to know that I have found a place of refuge, I only have to make it a bit more quite. :)

I don't torture me anymore to be in a perfect seat (lotus position).
I like to have a comfortable cushion to sit on.
Perhaps one day, when it is easier to keep lotus pose, I will change to this pose, But for now, it's good to have it comfortable. And also my comfortable seat shows attitude.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Yoga means to learn being attentive


Three times E. asked me if I will go out for breakfast with him tomorrow morning while we were at the nice Thai restaurant. I agreed.

I know it that he needs my conversation, my attention, my crazy ideas and optimism at the moment.

I will give it to him and it will be a pleassure for me. I will be attentive and this half an hour breakfast will make his entire day a nice one.

That's yoga, what else?

Oh, yes I will get up early, if necessary I would get up at 3 in the morning, but this is not necessary. I will find the time to sit in the morning. Zazen is for me. And in the evening I will go to B., Mysore class. Good night.

Easy I take it

Zazen first: My thoughts were like a quite sea today, not really exciting, but thoughts and stories came up. Just to sit, it is so simple, so beautiful.

Ashtanga: I did all the asanas, how they came in the correct order. I didn't omit one asana, because I didn't like it. As they came, they were performed. My preferences weren't important today. A bit stiff is the body, I can except it. I like my body very much. The body is not the same every day, it changes as well. And I can do so much with it - the fact alone, that I can be on my head (headstand) is wonderful.

Without living preferences I will go to work now. And I will give my best, which is sometimes more than humble and sometimes it is very good.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Ashtanga led class

Yes I went. And it was good. I enjoyed the energy of the others. Next to me practiced a really stiff man, who was moaning all the time. I didn't like this. But OK, it is his right to moan, if he likes it. Among all these beginners, I could be very relaxed, I had nothing to prove. I concentrated on my breath and my limits. It was great.

On my way home it rained. A man asked me:W ould you like to come under my umbrella. Me: Yes. He accompanied me till my house and then he said "good-bye" politely. This was really a perfect end of a satisfying day and a joyful yoga practice.

So and now is bed time. Early to bed, early up.

Nice

Yes, it was nice. I'm not yet back to the flexibility and strenght that I had before the break of a weak. It is astonishing how fast the body gets stiff and week. But my practice was wonderful.

I'm conscious in the morning that when I do not use the time in a sense I want it, I will not have the time anymore. This fact makes me practice without hesitating. It's brutal, but true. Practice or the time is over, that's what I know.

The highlight today was urdhva dhanurasana. I lifted my body up, three times, and I could hold it. How did that come? This was a real surprise. And of course savasana at the end, I start honoring the breaks, the relaxing time.

Zazen: I would like to sit again, right now. I might be distracted, but nevertheless this sitting exercise gives me peace, perhaps there is already a little point that is quite, only a little point, perhaps. But I will buy a clock. I looked at my watch 3 times. That's too much.

And this evening I will go to the led Ashtanga class.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

The holy Ashtanga practice

The break of almost a week could be felt. I'm cool now, I do not judge the stiffness, so glad that I can be on my mat again without pain.

So many breaks were made today. I think I needed half an hour only for the surya namaskaras, not because the body was weak, but the mind was distracted. The mind is the child.

Then, suddenly I was again on my mat, with the body and the mind. It was because I loved the poses. It felt good to do trikonasana, it felt good to do parivritta parsva konasana, it felt good to do prasarita padottanasana. Even the mind liked it. So I went from asana to asana after the first difficulties and I found flow. Yes, after the suryas flow was there again, what a joy.

I finished the session with a long savasana, enjoyed this pose, too.

Zazen and the still life of yesterday

Suddenly I thought that the still life (picture of yesterday) represents exactly how my Zazen is.

The picture is supposed to be a still life, but is it really still? So many things are on that little tablet that it is difficult to make a decision where to look at first. It is chaos, beautiful chaos, but no order. Danger is there, fears, in form of the peak of the candle holder. Rum is in a little bottle. It's the craziness and dreaming symbol. And then all the little pearls, the stories, the distraction that I always feel and live.

The tablet is on a carpet (handmade), not even, too and not still.

Where is the quite point in the picture?

Does the candle holder dominate the other items or perhaps the little bottle with rum? I don't think so. The other items, pearls, lipstick, incence, are much smaller, but so lively. They draw the attention, too.

I cannot sit so quite like all these items, but I sit and I would say I sit rather quite. I do not warm my feet every day when I do Zazen. But the quite point?, where is it?, I still have to find it.

So was my practice today. Exciting. Body was almost still, I didn't move a lot. Thoughts and feelings ware fully present. 20 min of my life are already over again, faster than I thought this could happen.

Damned, where is the quite point, when I sit.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

A still life


The body loved it

Ashtanga: I haven't gained weight during my break, I was able to start again, I also haven't forgotten the sequence of the asanas.

I was a bit stiff, I was a bit weak. As usual I needed some breaks. The body loved it to be moved and stretched. That's what I know now. The body wants it.

Zazen: Did I write in my last post that Zazen is sitting? It was sitting and suddenly I noticed that my hand warmed my cold feet. Is that part of Zazen, too? A lot of mental activities could be observed, too. And..........faster than I thought, 20 min were over again.

I have to pick me up where I am.
It makes no sense to go to station b in order to pick me up, when I'm still at station a.
I will never reach station b, when I await me already at station b, while I'm still at station a.
This might be embarrassing. But better to pick me up at station a, than to wait in vain at station b. This is important for all areas of my life.

A cutpurse only sees the purse, when he meets a holy man

Oh, I'm not a cutpurse.
Writing this down I'm not so sure anymore, if I'm a cutpurse or not.

Why to bother all the time people with the own wishes, wishes that come and go, which are exchangable, arbitrarily?
Why all these projections/expectations all the time? What else is it than incredible self-importance, that goes so far not to be able to see other people as they are - holy people (hahaha). So important are the own changing, stupid wishes that only they can be seen.

Take care of your purse in case you meet me.

Zazen now: what will happen today?
Answer: Sitting

Friday, September 07, 2007

After 20 min I stop

Zazen: today I thought after the 20 min: oh, I could go on for a while. But I didn't go on. Everything has an end, so my Zazen practice. It's good to be conscious of this fact. At the end of my life I cannot say, now I still need another 4 hours. To stop after a certain time is a good exercise to use the available time. And 20 min are enough.

I used the time for dreaming activities today. They come up. It's difficult to stop these activities of the brain. Many posts were written, stories came up. I sat quite, breath was even and watched all this. I was not really attached to the stories, but now the time is over.

Ashtanga: I wait another day. Back still hurts, so the arm, even though everything is much better. Very slowly I will practice tomorrow morning. So curious how it will be.

Work: I had a very good day yesterday. I had so many "problems" on my desk, but slowly with a positive attitude, that I will be able to do it, I started. I asked people when I was stuck and I got help. Why shall I desperate when others know the solution. Deadlines today as well, but it is the last day of the week. It's nice to have an end here, too.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Another day without yoga

My back must heal first. I didn't go to the Mysore class yesterday- a good decision.

Zazen this morning: It was long 20 minutes today. Somehow I was still tired and I noticed that my eyes were closed, when the TV suddenly made a noise. Some funny stories were thought. I have no expectations. I do not want to overload these 20 minutes with expectations. To sit 20 minutes is enough goal/ambition or whatever.

And now I have time to go out for breakfast with E.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

To practice not practicing

I think now that it is a good decision to stop practicing for a few days. I even consider to write an Email to B. and tell her that I won't come this evening to the Mysore class. Back is slightly better. I cannot really make out what caused the pain. But slightly better means it still hurts, so does my lower arm.

I must learn to trust myself that I can get back to the practice when I want to and that I will have the discipline again. A few days off do not disturb all the past efforts. Non-detachment is a good exercise. It is something for life. This is not easy, too. Must it always be difficult for me?

Zazen: 20 minutes this morning again. Time flies. I have no ambition anymore to sit in lotus pose for 20 min. I found a pose that works for me. I can sit upright comfortably. One hand lies in the hand of the other, the thumbs are touching and they show upwards. This gives the posture a certain (positive) tension. Then I breath and I wait what will happen. It was quite 20 min today. How I loved it.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Zazen "only" today

No yoga this morning. I feel good, I like this exercise of not practicing. I can get back to yoga on one of the next days. Who will prevent me? It's easier not to practice than I thought.

I wrote my morning pages - 3 today and then I put my cushion on the floor.

I did Zazen or sitting. First thought was that I would have time to sit longer today, 30 min. But why another challenge? 20 min of sitting is enough I finally decided. The session was very quite. I got back to my breath from time to time, I wanted to make it even. Body posture was comfortable, I felt a bit tired perhaps. At the end of the session strong feelings came up. I could scarcely sit quite anymore. And then it was over, the 20 min. Then I pretended washing my body with my hands, starting with the face first. It's to make the blood circulate again. I have learned this in one of the workshops I attended in the last years.
I bowed forward, front touched the floor, I bowed forward again, front touched the floor. The end.

I didn't think of the thoughts anymore, that made me react so strongly during the session. Session was over. Attachment was one of my greatest mistakes in life, as I see it now. Anger, sadness, joy, boredom, fear is not the problem. But to be angry and sad, to have fears or joy and to think about it even after a months or a year when an event is over is an awful mistake. Better things can be done than clinging on old events. It's even better to live a new sadness than to cling at the old one.

And that's why I'm looking forward to my breakfast now and I must laugh why I got so emotional during the sitting session. (For the curious ones: I think my bf does not take nice pictures of me and often he does not like to take pictures at all. It's a real reason to get angry in the morning. Hahaha)

So today I practiced non-detachment: I didn't practice Ashtanga yoga, I was not attached to some strange upcoming feelings. I have one hour left. That's a real gift.

Monday, September 03, 2007

OK, no yoga for a few days

I will get up at 5, but I won't practice. This is an exercise, it shows flexibility. I will read some inspiring books and of course I will blog about it.

Back still hurts, lower arm, too. Perhaps the back has another cause than the arm. The arm hurts perhaps, because I had to enter too many data. The back perhaps hurts because I changed something when I do chaturanga dandasana. I try to keep the soles of my feet parallel to the floor when I go down. Yes this is new, I remembered this during work. Other muscles than usual are needed, perhaps????

I will meditate in the morning, but tomorrow morning, on Wednesday morning and Thursday morning I won't practice. I will go to the Mysore class on Wednesday evening. On Friday morning I will practice again. Let's see how I will feel then.

I have so dear readers. Thank you for caring so much.

Oh it will be such a difficult task not to practice. How shall I manage this? I really don't know. It will be hard.

45 min of flow

I had 45 wonderful minutes on my mat, spent with the familiar 1st Ashtanga series. Careful I was, attentive I was and I focused on the breath.

From time to time I thought of my caring readers: this is good for me I thought. Not to do yoga would mean to move almost not at all. I feel better now. Yes, shocked this morning, because pain was back. After yoga it is better. The warm water of the shower relaxed the body as well.

But back to my wonderful practice this morning: I cannot imagine a better start of a new week. No highlights can be reported. An average practice, but as I was so concentrated and mentally on my mat it wasn't perhaps so average. Then I had to stop, I needed time for the closing sequence and a relaxing savasana.

Zazen: I forgot what had happened. Hahaha. But I did it, this I can remember.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

The neighbour kids



The neighbour kids drive me crazy. He can fall out of the window with his cigarette in his hand. It's the second floor.

I practiced. It was a relief the past days, why not today, too. Slowly I did one asana after the other. (Belly chaturanga dandasna of course). It was good. I even experienced flow. And now, no more yoga for today. :)

A walk to the steps this morning

I stopped my yoga practice today after a few surya namaskaras. Perhaps later I will try it again. It's like a pain killer for my back and lower arm. But somehow I missed energy.

I woke up at 5 this morning without an alarm clock and I got up. I wrote my morning pages.

Then I did Zazen. But I felt again somehow tired. My eye lids got heavy and heavier. I went to bed again. An hour later I got up again and tried to practice. I'll take a day off today, I thought (moon day).

The wish came up to go out for a walk. I went to the steps. Only one woman was sitting there. Unfortunately I hadn't my blanket with me and the stones were too cold to sit down. There I stood then enjoying the early morning. I will go again to the steps. Now, soon. It's so nice there. It's almost a fall day, sunny, fresh, quite as it is Sunday. But I'll take my blanket with me this time.

Pain is still there (upper back and lower arm) and this drives me crazy. It's slightly better, but still awful. I think I should stop writing about it. I should suffer in silence.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Swimming (sauna inclusivly) or the other way round


I was swimming today. What an adventure. How nice to move myself in that water. At first I swam with the head above the water, but soon I wanted to get faster, so I put my head under the water when I stretched my arms forward. I guess this swimming activity was good for my back.

After my swimming adventure I went to the sauna. How relaxing. At first it was only hot, I forgot how hot it can be in such a sauna room. Then I felt how pearls of sweat were rolling down my back. I started sweating everywhere. Was that nice and relaxing. It was for my back. It helped.

Pain free after yoga

It was a very slow practice with belly chaturanga dandasana. It's scarcley explainable, but I cannot hold chaturanga dandasana anymore for the time being.

Nice was I didn't make a difference between the asanas. I loved them all. It was not, oh no garbha pindasana now, or oh yeah marichyasana b now. I enjoyed all these postures how they appeared in the series. Not a single one was omitted today. I needed a lot of breaks, but I also held the asanas rather long. I had the time.

It was not strength building today.
It was not that I improved my flexibility today.
It was an average Saturday morning practice. How nice that I can appreciate how it was.

Zazen: Great, too. In the early morning the atmosphere is still quite. And there I sat reflecting about questions of life. No scratching happens anymore, I can hold the body almost quiet. It's wonderful.