Wednesday, October 31, 2007

It's joy to go back

It's not, I know it. But the mantra "it's joy to go back" is much better than mine: "I cannot do it".

With the help of B. I dropped again down into urdhva dhanuasana - 3 times. It gets all better, but I feel it, and I also think I can trust myself, it is not only fear, I'm not yet ready - the back is not yet flexible enough. It will be next year that I will be able to do it without risking to injure myself.

I was very concentrated and full of energy in the Mysore class today. Wonderful practice.

Ha, made my friendly phone call to the administration - the heater is working now and I was really friendly. I liked me how I was, very charming.
It remains a challenge not to let the outer world influence my moods. These Italian waiters were the challenge today. They brought me twice the wrong food. And I had to wait and to wait and to wait. Is that a reason for any emotional reaction????? For me it is. I'm thankful for these "challenges".

I'm working on my asanas and I develop a relaxed attitude towards --- toward what ---- towards myself and what happens around me. To stay relaxed during a day is equally demanding as taking the leg behind the head.

Tomorrow we have a banking holiday here. I'm so happy, that we have a day off. Yepeee.

It's not a reason for negative emotions

During the last 2 days the heater was adjusted by a firm. As mentioned in earlier entries, we even had no hot water for 2 days. Summer time is perhaps not the best time to repair it (irony). Yesterday in the evening at 9 p.m the heater was not working anymore. At the moment it is cold, too. Perhaps it starts getting warm at 9 a.m. till 6 p.m. This is ideal for those who are working. It is every year the same since 15 years. They are never able to adjust the heater for winter time.

What an opportunity for me. I'm just before getting really furious. But I want to make the phone call to the administration in a friendly way. I'm not sure, if I'm able to do so at the moment. But back to my efforts to avoid negative feelings. Can it really be so difficult? I mean, every body has the right to do mistakes also 15 years in a row. This should never be a reason to spoil 1 min of my beautiful life. To write calms me down enormously. Till now I haven't expressed anything, I can only feel this energy inside me. It's up to me how to use it, I think.

I could use the energy for my yoga practice. This was really the good thing. It is possible to transform negative energy into positive. There is perhaps only energy used in a different way. (I should ask my bf about it. I think it has something to do with physics and this is one of his favourite topics. I must ask him, he will love it to answer on this question) I was so strong and focused today. So, thank you for not adjusting the heater correctly.

Even sitting was good. I just didn't like that such an event would have influence on my beloved sitting. Thoughts about the heater and the firm, that repaired it came up, but I could let them go.

About 5 times I had already checked, if the heater already works, till now it is not working. Nevertheless I feel warm now, because my practice was so intensive.

My task for today: to be very friendly (honestly, not artificially) when I call the administration "complaining" about the heater. Ha.

Tomorrow we will have a banking holiday. This evening I will ask the Ashtangi students, if someone likes to go out for a drink after the Mysore class. I already know the answer. Yogis are very busy with themselves. But then I will go out alone.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

I don't give up so fast.

In nothing. I decided to go for a bath instead of a shower.

I filled the bath tube with hot water. When I returned to the bathroom I saw that the water was brown. The rust that was in the pipes was in the water now.

I filled the bath tube a second time with hot water. This time it was better. The bath was relaxing.

And I have still time.

The heater is working again....

.....this probably means that I will have hot water again, too.

I wanted to go on time today, too, but it was just not possible. I had to wait till a very slow colleague had finished his part of the work. Then I could go on with my part and this was late.

Now I don't feel so fresh anymore.

3 hours are left now. I hope I will do something nice with it. I started thinking of past events that didn't please me so much, got even angry. To control feelings is not easy. Writing down that I got angry about past events here in a blog makes all so ridiculous that I really have to laugh. The moment is saved again. Past events are over. I will go under the shower, this gives me energy. I have neither time nor lust to waste my energy and time with anger. Shower here I come, yes, and I want to write and to sit and to read. Yes, it seems to become a nice evening.

No heater, only cold water and I gave up

It's cold here, we have no heater and only cold water. I won't shower this morning, a bit water in the face and some eau de toilette behind the ears should be enough.

I did sitting meditation this morning. It was difficult to concentrate and it was difficult to be detached. As so often I couldn't resist to move and to scratch from time to time, but between these activities I had fractures of seconds where everything was quite, even me.

Yoga: I put on 2 t-shirts with sleeves and a jacket. It was fresh today (no heater). After a few suryas I gave up, even though everything started very good. Too much inner self-talk today. I left the mat and followed my inner dialogues. I couldn't stop them. I won't give these thoughts too much meaning and attention, I know these thoughts already. Nothing knew to me. Superficial. Now I'm concentrated again, because I'm writing my blog. But almost half an hour I did nothing else but doing this emotional self-talk (feeling injured and treated wrongly). OMG.

Yesterday evening E's mother called me. We talked for some time. She mentioned that she repented a few things in her life. I asked her what it was. She always wanted to sew and not to work at a farm. Now it's too late with over 80. I thought for myself: And I do not even know what I want to do. But I guess I'm like these people described in one of Barbara Sher's books. I have to do different things in my life. Accounting was interesting for me and it still is it. But I already see and feel the end. I earn good money, I still want to learn something. The challenges that I have in that current job are good for me. I like to be challenged. Sometimes it tends to be too much, I know. But in general I'm not unhappy. But also because I see there will still come something else. If I only knew what it was.

The song in the radio makes me laugh: it's "born to be wild". :)

Intention for the day: to be wild. hahaha.

Monday, October 29, 2007

This sauna is an asylum

....and I'm glad that my hair is washed. :)

It was a good decision...

.....to go home before 5 p.m. I was very concentrated at work. Boss is on vacation and in the late afternoon the idea came up to go home earlier and I went. I can do things for myself now.

I had a wonderful dinner: sunflower bread with olive margarine and a tomato with salt and pepper, a peppermint-lemon tea and afterwards a few pieces of dark chocolate.

As I see it, I have to leave the house again. We have no warm water today and tomorrow. When I want to wash my hair I have to go to a public sauna. I cannot go unwashed to work. The cold water is very cold now. A cold shower after a warm shower is OK, but to wash the hair with cold water is awful.

But before I make another decision, I will meditate for some time, without a meditation clock, as long or as short as I want.

Oh, not so much feelings during the day. I was busy with my work.

Whyever

It was difficult today. To sit was difficult and yoga, too. But I sat 20 min and I did yoga 1 hour. I was on my mat and I did one asana after the other. I even lifted myself up into urdhva dhanurasana, it was like 3 fast push-ups. Savasana was relaxing.

Feelings: Sadness without any reason, then aggression under the shower. The cold water brought me again in the here and now. Then my server didn't work. Desperation was felt. I hope I'm through of this trilogy of feelings. Sadness, aggression and desperation seem to be my favourite feelings at the moment. It's a dangerous combination. Back to the breath.

I look out of the window and I see wonderful light. The sun is shining. This nice atmosphere does not prevent me to think of the working day: My colleague is on vacation, which is good, but I have to do his job, too. I don't know how I shall all manage it. It's too much at the moment.

I leave my yoga clothes at home, I won't have time today to go to yoga class.

To be detached it the goal for today. Concentration can be exercised, the entire day.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Enough dawdling, duties call me now


Picture shows Munich downtown. The pedestrian area, which leads to the city hall begins here. I took the picture yesterday on a Saturday, it is the shopping day here as shops are closed on Sundays.

At the theatre

I saw a movie at the theatre yesterday evening: It's called "Die andere Seite" and it's a German-Turkish movie. One of my favourite actors Hanna Schygulla was excellent again. It's a recommendation and it is not about the Second World War.

It's difficult to write about the movie. Many different walks of lifes were shown. Somehow these different people met in the Turkey and in Germany.

On feelings

I thought that I would have more emotions during a day. But I do not feel so much. Curiosity is not a feeling. When I want to know what an author has written, or why my colleague is leaving the office earlier than usual, this is not accompanied with deep feelings or feelings at all.

Aggression I know. Frustration I know as well, when my expectations are not fulfilled. I.e. I expect that the sales persons at the bakery treat me friendly. But why should they do? They have stress. They shall never be a reason for my frustration from now on. Hahaha. Less expectations, less frustration. Is it so simple?

I also won't blame my bf for my aggression I'm glad that I could stop myself in the last second, before I started justifying my aggression here in my yoga blog. He is innocent, in Portland and he sends kisses through the telephone. But the feeling of aggression is there, no doubt about it. Much energy gets lost that way, much time, too. Back to the breath, back to the here and now, I cannot stress it enough.

Fears I know as well. This takes away a lot of energy, too and it is superficial, too. Most fears exist only in my imagination. At the moment I'm not yet 60 years old ugly and poor. I can enjoy my fears when I will be 60.

Sadness I know as well and I know the feeling of excessive demands.

Do I also have positive feelings? Sort of satisfaction is felt, when I have finished my spiritual practices or when I have accomplished something at work or at home. Damned, the tax declaration comes into my mind.

I do not feel so much, that's really astonishing.
I think it is important not to blame anybody for the own few feelings. They fall under my own responsibility. That's good news. This will give me the possibility to influence them. And I guess the best thing is to focus on the good feelings.

To feel powerful, full of energy and possibilities, that's a good feeling. How is this feeling called?

Strength is needed

Strength is needed for second series, too. Perhaps I was already hungry, I started rather late with my practice, but after a while I got weak. I allowed me to take breaks. This didn't alter the fact that I felt exhausted after a while. Finishing was short: salamba sarvangasana, halasana, matsyasana, lotus pose.

Kapotasana: At first I tried to get back while I was on my knees. The wardrobe was close so that I could reach it with my hands. Then I tried to lift me up while lying on the back already. Both variations are very challenging.

Supta vajrasana: I put my meditation cushion behind my feet. This took away a lot of fear of falling on my head. I didn't touch the floor with my head, when I went down, but I guess I was a bit further down.

Urdhva mukkha svanasana: I tried to keep the feet parallel, using the leg muscles and bandhas.

Pincha mayurasana: Mr Freeman has his hands rather separated. Mine were always touching. I tried Freeman's version today and I think it can be helpful.

Vatayanasana: I tried it the first time and it was not that bad.

Gomukhasana: This was performed, too. Mr Freeman sits on his leg, I used to sit on the floor, lower legs beside my body. This time I sat on my leg, too. It's doable, it's even easier.

Breath was deep. That was it. Each practice is different.

My schedule during the week is like a corset (Corvette would be better)

During the week I have a very tight schedule. There are scarcely breaks of 5 min or so. My schedule starts at 5 in the morning and it ends at 6 or even later in the evening. During the weekends it is as if I have taken off the corset and then I have to learn again to walk without this backing.

I'm dawdling, this is the consequence when I do not have this overwhelming schedule. Perhaps I should call it - I relax.

I did sitting meditation already: buuh. I thought: When I stop now, it will be easier the next time to stop sitting, too. And 20 min is not soooooo long. So I sat and sat and waited till it would be over. Many thoughts came up, the breath was there too. I was agitated.

Yoga now - to pick me up doing it is not so easy today, too. I watched the DVD by Freeman this morning. Yip, that is it, motivated right now. I want to try the new poses.

Let me practice.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

To be responsible for my live

My heart beat faster, when I opened the letter from the German tax office. It was a reminder, only a reminder. I finally have to do the tax declaration 2006 by 26 Nov. This should be doable.

These things must be done. I'm on a good path now, the visit to the dentist was only the beginning. Next important task will be to do the tax declaration. Will I be glad, when everything will be done. I don't want to think now of the broken water meter.

Saturday afternoon



I was downtown. I had to go to the post office, but afterwards I went to a cafe and read.

It's cold here. It's the end of October, dry but cold. I just prepared a cup of green tea with bergamotte-mango aroma. I eat a bit of marzipan with it. It shall warm me.

The mind: How to talk to the mind? Pictures or even better movies are good for the mind. In the beginning of the year I wanted to do the whole second series. Most of the time I only go till pincha mayurasana. After this entry I will watch the DVD by Richard Freeman. I want to see if I can do a few more poses. And: I just planned to visualize more often how to drop down into urdhva dhanurasana.

Vacation: In the middle of November we will travel to Gran Canary, Spain. It will be still warm there and I'm looking forward to this vacation. In December and January B., my teacher will be in India. There will be only 2 more Mysore classes this year. To be realistic: officially it will be next year that I will start second series. It's fine for me.

Oh, the tea, so good.

It was a good idea...

....to switch on the CD from Sharath. I felt it, I was distracted not really concentrated before I started my practice. To be led by Sharath helped me to be focused on the breath. I did it with the CD till mari c. Then I practiced on my own. I need more time for mari c and d and for supta kurmasana. I can not enter the asanas so fast and I still have to study them.

Urdhva dhanurasana: I lifted me up three times. To drop down and to stand up from this position will happen only in the evening, when I'm much more flexible than in the morning.

Sirsasana: I went down 5 breaths earlier than counted by Sharath.

I'm relaxed. Focus during the day as well, please. Focus on the breath, on the here and now.

Sitting session is over

To sit was like a duty today. I did it, that's what is important. It's not necessary that I love it every day.

It's so difficult not to scratch myself from time to time. No I don't have flees, but those who would observe me, could get the idea.

I observed the breath, but thoughts came up, too. After 5 min I changed to lotus pose, the last 3 min I sat with crossed legs again. Even when "only "sitting it is not easy not to force anything, but to challenge oneself.

Bf is already on his way to Frankfurt and then to Portland, US. I will have time for all the things that are on my list. I plan a busy weekend. But at first yoga is on the list.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Yes, it was good



It was good, without question. I like the simplicity of Italian food.

Waiting on a fence

I sit here and I'm waiting for my bf. Italian restaurant this evening - the one which is round the corner.

"Making love and breaking hearts - this is a game for youth....sitting on a fence.......sitting on a fence."

"I don't need a whore, I don't need booze.......I need someone I can cry to, someone I can protect. I'm just waiting on a fence......."

I'm listening to one of my favourite songs by the Rolling Stones: Sitting on a fence.

So and now I will plan my weekend.

Another moon day for me today?

So distracted today. I sat 20 min, but don't ask me where I really was mentally. Somewhere. I thought that I could come back to the breath, to the here and now as long as the 20 min are not yet over (and after the sitting session of course, too) . For short period of times I even managed it to get back to the breath before the mind flew away again.

Then I started my yoga practice. Before I started I made already a break. Five surya namaskara a and 3 surya namaskara b were performed. Then I walked up and down in my rooms like a lion in a cage. I couldn't concentrate on the practice anymore. There was no will. I gave up. I sat down on my cold black mat then and observed the tree in the backyard. The leaves moved, it is rather windy outside. It's moon day today, I thought. But I also thought, that with each day where I do not practice I will loose flexibility and strength. 2 days in a row I didn't practice. What a tragedy for me. I should feel mercy with me. Tomorrow is Saturday. This word is connected with the word "time". Yes, time for a long yoga practice after a night with 8 hours of sleep and not only 7 or even less. The last sentence is only an excuse to myself for my laziness and distraction.

Friday: I must be concentrated at least at work. Too much is on my desk. Coffee. I want another cup of black coffee.

But I also feel good, that I went to the dentist yesterday. I interpret it as a behaviour that shows that I started again taking responsibility for my life. There is more to do than earning some money and doing yoga and meditation. I have so many plans and dreams, and undone tasks on my desk and in my mind. When I want to make my dreams come true, I have to take responsibility for my life and also for these little tasks that I always postpone and which get bigger and bigger with each day I postpone them. My water meter is broken, I have not yet done my tax declaration, deadline was in May. I could go on with the list of undone duties.

I have to take responsibility again for my life. Nobody else will do. That's a matter of fact.

So and now it's time for the coffee.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

At the dentist

I was 15 min too early. I had to leave the house earlier because of the engine drivers' strike here in Munich, but the dentist was already there.
"Take your clothes off," he said and added after a while, "but not all." He understands it to take the fear away. Of course it made me laugh.

Later he was pleased that I remained true to him. Since 1999 I go to him. "But this is self-evident." He said it in such an ambiguous way, that I really had to laugh and could scarcely stop. He laughed with me. He came so close to me that I thought he wanted me to kiss him. I resisted.

Later we stood at the reception. He put his arm around my shoulder and there we stood.

Oh, the teeth, yes the teeth, forget the teeth.

It was a funny, pleasant visit at the dentist.

But next time it will be horrible. He already threatened with an injection.

Well rested

The night is over. I had already my sitting session, which was a rather lively one. But the breath was with me, I got back to it whenever I remembered. Thoughts came up, but they were all irrelevant.

Body can relax today. It's my moon day. I will go to the dentist. Then I will go to work, trying to use my mind in a reasonable way - no desperate thoughts (I'm not able to do it, I'm overwhelmed), but problem solving thoughts (finding out priorities i.e.)

It will be a long day, I know it. I will need a lot of energy today.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Mysore class

I was so focused today. This was my goal and I was able to have a deep breath and to be focused on my practice. I wanted to forget the day. It was over.

In the here and now I could find a lot of joy. I loved my performance this evening.

But now I must go to bed. It's so important that I get enough sleep. Going with the breath. That's it.

On thinking habits

At first I thought all these judging provokes deep feelings, but this is not the case. It's just a thinking habit.

I get up and I think that this is good, because it is so early and I want to do it. It's cold outside and I think that this is bad. I start my yoga practice on time, this is of course good. I scratch myself during zazen, which is bad and so on. It is endless.

In the subway I thought: My life is a nightmare, my life is a nightmare, my life is a nightmare. Sometimes I think the opposite. But today was not my best day. So: My life is a nightmare.

And today at the Mysore class B. said to me: And now I really have to tell you something. Every time you come you say that you are not able to drop down into urdhva dhanurasana. It's only your block in your mind. (It's not a quote, but that was what she said). Oh, this was embarrassing for me, because it is true. It's a thinking habit, which blocks me (I'm not able to do it). Each Wednesday I repeat this mantra. I suspect that I repeat it also on other days. OK, I give up, next time I'm again ready to fall on my head.

Next thinking categories are all sorts of dreams, and sometimes this is not even good entertainment.

Really constructive thinking with a decent intent was only observed when I planed to ask the colleagues for help. Yes, this was really constructive.

I was full of tension the entire day. It started all with this appointment at the dentist, which is so necessary. Now I'm relaxed. It's so good. Finally.

I postponed it 10 months

10 months ago I started a medical treatment. After the first step I didn't make another appointment. I don't know why I was so courageous this morning. I called the dentist for an appointment. The woman at the reception desk was rather unfriendly because I hadn't sent the papers to the health insurance. The dentist is very good, but he had never good employees. The woman wanted me to come at 8 tomorrow morning. I agreed and at once fear came up. My heart tightened. And the fear didn't disappear almost the whole day.

At first I feared the appointment tomorrow and then I feared that I won't be able to do the job. When lunch break came I was already running in circles. I need help I thought. I asked my colleagues after lunch, and they helped me. What a relief, but by then I was already so exhausted.

All these fears and inability to solve a problem reasonable, didn't prevent me from having hero dreams when I went to lunch. This I stopped at once as soon as I was aware of it. This was too ridiculous on such a day like today.

Tomorrow I have to go to the dentist. I hope I won't forget it. I feel strong resistance.

Another practice

Zazen: I sat 7 min with crossed legs, then I changed to lotus pose. I could be in lotus pose till the end of the 20 min. Huge feelings today. Sadness was there, without any reason. It dissappeared. I was with my breath. I'm not sure if I do a slight form of uddjah breathing or if it is normal breathing. I can hear my breath and this facilitates to focus on it. The breath accompanied me till the end. And in the end my left leg slept.

Ashtanga yoga: No ambition today. I did vinyasas but without the goal to jump through without touching the floor. The intent for the vinyasas was to have counter poses. I was fast. I enjoyed the sweet pain that happened when I stretched into janu sirsasana and other poses. I'm convinced that my mari c and d don't look beautiful, but at least I can bind. From there I can try to make the pose a beautiful one. I made breaks, short ones. Even this was OK for me today.

I want to be relaxed. To be detached shall be my attitude.

My second cup of black coffee is ready. I finish the first gulps with a hearable ahhhhhh. I like my black coffee, my little poison in the morning.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Waiting

E. and I want to go to a Greece restaurant before he is leaving Munich for several business trips.

I think of my Californian blogger friends (I just read Tiff's blog; thank you for updating us.) and I think it's important not to risk anything. Oh, I think it's perhaps not so easy to leave everything behind. Of course we are informed here too, about the news and what's going on in the US. Good luck for all who are in danger.

So, I will put some lipstick on my lips, I will comb my hair and then I hope that E. will be here already. I want to go as I want to be in bed on time due to my morning practice.

Habits: This time I do not wonder when is the best time to shower. :) Thinking habits got into the focus of interest. But later more.

Yoga on and yoga off the mat

Yes it was good. All my spiritual activities satisfy me somehow. Somehow they show that I care for myself.

Zazen: I'm rather relaxed at the moment. I don't want to force anything. When I feel that I have to move I do it. I know that this is the critical point. In real life it's the same. Something happens and the reaction follows at once, often it is not the most reasonable reaction. To sit, to feel that the skin tickles and not to scratch is a challenge comparable with these life situations that usually provoke a reaction. But I want to stay cool, lax, relaxed. One day I won't scratch anymore. I know this from my yoga decades ago. We remained in poses very very long. In the beginning I had to move, I had to correct the pose, I had to scratch, but this all disappeared. Patience helps. I want that this improvement comes easily to me, I don't want to force it. It is also a matter of trust. When I feel that it tickles somewhere I first notice it and I observe it, only when it needs too much of my concentration (and when I cannot get back to the breath) I scratch. So the reaction is already later as usual. My sitting activities gives me calm.

Ashtanga yoga: Second series today. My focus was the breath. I didn't force myself into poses. Flow was important. I know that the poses do not improve by themselves. But I will have again days where I will have the time to stay longer in the poses, which improves the poses technically.

And now yoga off the mat: Going with the breath, staying relaxed, being in the here and now, being conscious, being friendly to others and to myself, keeping the body upright, relaxed.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Damned attached and furious again

Hahaha, to stay outside of everything must be exercised. Should go to bed before I'm going to ruin this evening.

My soul, so white, so innocent

It was a tough day today, unfair, with stress. I could keep the attitude that I don't want that other people or outside events influence my inner calm. The breath helped and I stayed relaxed, as if I can handle everything. My soul remained calm, white, innocent. But the stress that I had today also tells me that I won't do the job the next 10 years. I'm happy how I managed everything, but now I'm tired.

I was at the led Ashtanga class this evening. Only a few people practiced today. I can understand that it is easier to learn the series not in a class but from a teacher, one asana after the other. One woman stopped practicing and observed the others. It was too demanding for her. It is a very challenging practice.

The led class is so slow, that it is good for building strength. I wanted to go with my breath, I wanted to bring me in the here and now. Work was forgotten. I was in that wonderful yoga room, aligning the movements with the breath.

Tomorrow E. will go out with me. It will be the last day together, then he will be on business trips for the next 14 days. I will have a lot of time to do all the little things that I postponed all the time.

Oh, shower, a bit reading, bed. I need inner strength to manage my job, I know this. Enough sleep helps to relax.

To trust the body

The body is wonderful. It tells me when I'm hungry, when I'm full, when I'm tired. Most activities are performed automatically, like breathing, digesting and so forth. In case of illness it knows how to heal itself most of the time.

The body deserves to be trusted. To trust the body was my intention when I started my Ashtanga practice. I'm sure that I will experience different practices with this attitude, too - practices where I experience focus or practices where I'm bendy and strong, practices where I'm slow. In general I would say my practice improved with this attitude.

Flow was there today when I practiced. Breath was deep and even. Each single asanas was performed, without preferences. I must have been rather fast, because I have only 1 hour in the morning. Yes, I feel good now.

Sitting was OK. Too many thoughts - a bit late I remembered to get back to the breath each time when I was absorbed by thoughts.

My plan for the day is ready. These little things, which add up, must be done, too.

Back to the breath, back to the breath.

Spiritual goals

Spiritual goals: Is this a contradiction per se?

But why all these activities like writing, sitting, yoga, observing, being detached? Is it to wake up, to get to know oneself, to learn to focus in the here and now, to be happy , to become free and finally to be able to love?

I don't know it. I'm a bit confused at the moment. So I stick to the basics, my practices (writing, sitting, yoga, getting back to the breath, when it gets tough and when it is not tough and non-judgemental observing). OMG.

Next post.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

...and I have such a beautiful planer



waiting to be used again........

To plan the day the night before


Beside my spiritual exercises and my job (8 to 10 hours without commuting time), I still have a few other things to do. Some things I like to do (reading) and some things I have to do (preparing the tax documents i.e). Fact is that there is always more things to do/ to read than there is time available.
How to tackle this challenge?
Firstly I want to plan the day the night before. I made good experiences with this method. The unconscious is working overnight on the tasks and the next day it's a play to do them.
Secondly I want to do focus on 3 important things.
Plan for tomorrow:
taking money to the bank
to update the answering machine
to pay a bill and to enter a few invoices in my accounting system.
I could make a list of 100 things to do, I will never start. So let's see what I can do tomorrow after the Monday yoga class. :)

Moon day today

No meditation, no yoga today, but father's birthday party. My father told me that he was able to drop back into urdhva dhanurasana (bridge) when he was 38 years old. This made me thinking. I cannot remember that he did exercise anything. If he could do it, I will be able to do it, too. Hahaha.

At home again. Back to the breath, inhaling, exhaling. Is this the solution for everything?

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Peak

Excellent. But I won't judge this peak performance either. I cannot hide it, I feel great now. I sit in half lotus on my chair in front of my PC. My back is straight, face relaxed.

Zazen: And suddenly I was focused on the breath - inhaling, exhaling, inhaling, exhaling. Lower belly moved. I didn't think a lot. Time was no more relevant. It became easy to sit. Inhaling, exhaling. Of course thoughts came up. After 9 minutes I changed to lotus pose. A few times I scratched myself. But then it happened again- I was focused, concentrated on my breath in the here and now.

The intention for my Ashtanga practice:
1. not to try to hard
2. to trust the body
3. the mind had the challenging task to observe if the breath is even.

I was so focused today. Most of the time I could observe my breath without being distracted by stories, writing blogs or other thoughts. I observed the sound of the breath, the length.
I know the sequence by heart. It's not necessary to remember it, I can do it without thinking, I can go with the flow. Flow was experienced. I was able to hold the wrist in mari c and d, I was able to hook the fingers in supta kurmasana. I had no preferences for asanas, I did them all with the same quite commitment. Was that excellent today.

I'm very optimistic now that I will still do some chores before we will drive to B., I'm also optimistic that I will find a birthday present for my father (I don't care if he likes it or not). And tomorrow is my moon day. Many guests will arrive already early in the morning to congratulate. I will help my mother to prepare the food. There won't be time for yoga, but there is time to be focused in the here and now.

The show must go on, but breakfast first.

Friday, October 19, 2007

The mind - I suspected it

Not to judge, not to control, "only to observe" is not enough. There needs to be a real task, i.e to observe if the breath is even, when the breath is changing and so forth.

Was I glad when I left the company today. Exhausted. Even though I was already at home exhaustion, bit of desperation was felt. It was cold and rainy when I walked home from downtown. I have not yet found a birthday present for my father and tomorrow we will be invited at his birthday party. Bf is on a business dinner, so I had no distraction from this side, too. I felt empty, discontent. Was I glad that I remembered to get back to the breath and to throw all the other issues out of my mind and to focus on the here and now.

Back to the breath, focus in the here and now. Yeah, it helps to feel better.

Dated Sept 18, 1982


Now I have it in writing. My yoga path goes back till the year 1982. I found a little book that I made for myself. The first page describes the chakras. Then yoga poses follow. On the left side is always a description and the right side is a copied picture. The little booklet ends with the affirmation:
I'm not my body.
I'm not my feelings.
I'm not my thoughts.
I'm pure awareness.
I remember that this said not too much to me in 1982. I thought: but I am my feelings. It was all so real what I felt. This has changed because after decades of being here on earth I could observe so many feelings and they all changed.
How are my feelings at the moment? Changing. So is it worth writing about it?

I gave up, but only for this morning

Always these ups and downs. Up and down, up and down.

After ardha baddha padma paschimottanasana I gave up. I sat down in lotus pose, I bent forward and remained in that pose for a while. This was it this morning. I didn't like to oppress this reluctance (and I also couldn't), but I won't give it too much attention either. I know for sure that this "mood" will change, so why to be identified with it. Tomorrow is Saturday I will have a bit more sleep and time.

The idea to let the body do the job, because it is the expert pleases me so much. I'm sure this helps to improve the practice. Perhaps my mind was a bit offended, it has to get used to its new job, which is to observe without judging. How to make this job attractive? I will have to think about it.
To let the body do the job means also to develop trust. Trust that everything can be done without orders by the mind. Everything is there already, it must only be discovered.

Zazen: Only once I changed the position to lotus pose. The breath was even. Thoughts came up, of course, I let them go.

I have a bit more time now, because I stopped my practice earlier, but I won't go to work earlier. But as soon as I will be there I have to work like a devil again. I can handle my job only when I do it one day after the other. I must trust here too. I feel it, to feel over strained again is easy. So one breath after the other, to trust and to be curious what will come is perhaps helpful.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

A neglected body, a neglected mind


A neglected body is weak, shows bad posture, hair is not washed.......
A neglected mind is judging, distracted, controlling, a show-off.


A well-groomed body is strong, flexible and beautiful.
A well-groomed mind is focused, modest, observing without judging.

Ohhh, wonderful

Zazen: I sat again 20 min. I changed the sitting position 2 times. At first I sat with crossed legs, then in lotus pose right leg first, then lotus pose left leg first. Lotus pose is the position where it is easiest to sit upright, but I have to get used to sit 20 min in this pose. I don't want to injure myself again, that's why I want to build it up slowly. I focused on the breath, each time when I observed that thoughts came up, I got back to it. I was relaxed, detached.

Ashtanga Yoga: The body knows very well, what to do. I give the body the responsibility to do the series. The mind has no more the task to tell the body what to do. The job of the mind is to observe what happens, but not to give orders or to judge, what happens. This might all sound strange what I write. I think my practice changed in the last year. Firstly it was only the exercise of the body. I neglected the mind, nevertheless it was always there with it's unobserved habits. The mind, the feelings, thoughts became much more important. It cannot be separated. Each dimension can have a separate task and together it is really a wonderful play, with best results. A play it can be, a play that can be observed. What a joy.

Non-judgmental awareness is the key word. But this is a topic of its own. This evening perhaps??

Bf is again on a business trip. I will have time this evening. He never gets tired to tell me how beautiful I am. :) I think he really thinks it, so often does he tell it to me. I want that my practice is beautiful, too.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

I let the body do the job

Mysore class this evening: I told the body to do the job and the mind to relax. The breath guided me through the practice. When I have an even breath, I'm likely to get into a flow and flow was experienced today.

B. thinks that only my mind is the obstacle, otherwise I would be able to drop down into urdhva dhanurasana. But I feel that my back is not yet bendy enough, my arms perhaps not yet strong enough. And fear is there, too. I still need some time.

Always little ups and downs are observed during the day, no high peaks and deep valleys, but ups and downs. Sometimes there is an event i.e. a wonderful shower which makes me feel better. When I think of my work tomorrow, I feel worse at once. But sometimes there is no event in the outer world. Up and down all the time.

It's all a possibility to exercise detachment.

I have still 30 min, then I have to go to bed.

My practice today



Zazen: This morning it was observed that the mood was much worse than yesterday in the evening. I thought that I'm observing a human law. It goes always up or down. Even doubts could be observed. Makes this all any sense, I asked myself. As I know that doubts are an obstacle on the way, I didn't pay too much attention to it. I sat. I changed the sitting position 2 times. I'd like to sit in lotus pose, but I'm a bit afraid that I will injure myself again. I want to prolong the time sitting in lotus pose slowly. Finally it was a good 20 min. Mood was not the best, but I was rather detached. I need these changing feelings in order to test if I can live according to my conviction and attitude, which is not to be influenced by events outside myself, instead keeping inner silence and calm.

Ashtanga yoga: I remembered my intention from yesterday evening (not to try too hard). The body knew by himself very well what to do and it was an excellent job that was performed. I should trust my body more. To take it easy, not to try too hard helps a lot. I enjoyed the practice. After mari d, I had to start the closing sequence due to lack of time. The breath was deep and even, the movements were even, too. Flow developed. I cannot remember anymore if I had a relaxed face. It was a very intensive practice.

Not to try too hard, that's what I will try this evening during the Mysore class. I will trust my body that it knows what to do.

Trees were seen in Mallorca, Spain.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Not to try too hard

Not to try too hard: this shall be my intention for my practice tomorrow. I expect a much better practice with this attitude. I tried hard enough already.

Tomorrow I will practice with joy and a relaxed face.

Blogger has again problems uploading pictures. No, we won't judge this either. They should not try too hard to fix it, too. :)

Ha, I misused my meditation timer

2 books that I had ordered arrived. I saw already fading the remorse to clean my home this evening. Then I had THE idea: I took my meditation timer: 20 min I worked fast on the chores and I have accomplished something. I'm too lazy to list it.

Now I will read. The mind is my topic at the moment. I'm so fascinated by it. And perhaps I add another 20 cleaning minutes later. That would be great.

Yesterday a friend called me. Oh that was a nice surprise. I told her that my home is a mess. I knew that she would like to hear it. Her home is a mess for years. She was so happy. "I feel rage", she told me. "You always pretended as if everything can be done and now hahaha." I granted her the rage. We laughed that my answering machine isn't spoken for years. But she can only walk with boots in her home. And I can still walk barefoot, what I always do. There is not yet a danger doing it. But the conversation motivated me to make everything easier at home and to have it nice, yes nice. I need a good space, a good atmosphere at home.

So, reading time and then again a few chores. I won't give up on that goal either.

Oh, the light


At 5 p.m. I thought: nobody will thank me that I stayed at the office at such a wonderful day. The sun was shining and I went.

The breath and the attitude

Yesterday I was so lucky to observe a man practicing yoga before the Ashtanga class. I'm so sure that he thinks he is advanced, I doubt it. At first I thought that nothing can be learnt from someone like him, but I changed my opinion. This man could stand up from urdhva dhanurasna, he practiced hanumanasana and janu sirsana. Even in janu sirsanana he held his breath. He didn't breath anymore, imagine. Then he needed a break, of course, and then he breathed like a steam train. Then he forced himself in another more advanced asana. Holding breath again. Break down followed. Finally he stood up and brought the mat to the shelf. No attitude, no positive tension was seen in his body. He let himself go, he gave up. No, I don't want to talk bad about this guy, I can be the same.

But this is it what can be learnt. The breath is so important. The breath reflects the feelings. Actors use the breath in order to provoke a wished feeling. Not to breathe anymore can make stop the thoughts, but this was not the intention of the guy. To face the difficulties (i.e. asanas) relaxed is the goal. It can be achieved with a relaxed breath. And the attitude. To have a straight back is so important. To face life upright, honest, with energy, that's it. I do not sit in order to be able to sit 20 min. The attitude that I exercise during these 20 min shall spread over my life. Yoga or zazen does not end when I leave the mat or when I stand up from my cushion.

Also between the asanas I could observe yesterday, that most people let themself go. They show a little break down. But between the asanas it gets tough, I know it, here it is important to face the difficulty with an attentive attitude, with energy.

It's more beautiful to go into the asanas with an even, relaxed breath. The series can look beautiful. The flow can be seen. The joy.

My practice was good today. What I saw yesterday gave me some impulses. I tried to make good transitions. When finished (after savasana) I stood up with dignity.

To face the ups and downs in life with energy and dignity can be exercised on the mat and lived in life. This is more than hanumanasana without breath and a red face.

I know, I know I was insolent today. But sometimes it is easier to learn from the mistakes of others. And I'm really thankful that I could observe all this. It gave me new impulses and hopefully my practice will improve. To be more relaxed, to use the breath are the secrets. Hahaha, never content I am.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Now I sit here



..and I wish I had more time. Only 40 min and then I have to sleep. No chores are done so far.

Tomorrow I will make a plan for the private things. I have time duing lunch time. In the evening I will tackle at least 1 important task.

The picture shows parts of a monestry in Mallorca.

How to avoid life?

Life can be avoided when
being too tense,
letting oneself go and
via daydreaming.

Back to the breath, back to the here and now. This is always a good idea.

(Lately I met someone who let himself go. What I saw was shocking, he gave himself up. This is no life anymore what he is living. I would like to describe it, but I think I would go too far. I'm more from the daydreaming fraction. It is live avoiding, too. It's good to know this. Perhaps I can make the dreams come true, when I wake up some day.) At first I take a shower, then I do some chores and then I go to bed. :)

I worked very concentrated today. I have to, but I'm also able to do it. The job is important. It shows that I can be responsible for myself. Perhaps I can improve the situation. I shall see, but this is on my agenda of next year. This thought leads to another point. It's so ugly only to think of oneself. I should do a donation this week.

Evening class

Yes, I went. A few people practiced today. It was a led Ashtanga class till janu sirsasana c. I loved it.

I wanted to write about the ups and downs in life and in general. But my mind is empty at the moment. Oh, I feel relaxed. Now the words are coming: Only sadness makes happiness possible. Yes, that's what I wanted to write. And nothing remains as it is. Everything is in flow, all the time. That's what I experience at the moment. Nothing can be held.

The ups and downs: all people have it, it's human, but different people handle it differently. Some are looking for distraction in movies, some drink alcohol or listen to music. I don't know what is the best way to handle ups and downs. I try it with finding a good attitude towards life in general, learning to be in the here and now, being detached, I observe what happens, always sure nothing will last forever.

The 5 o'clock routine

I'm back to my morning routine. I got up 5 to 5. Coffee was ready at 5 and then I started writing 2 pages.

Zazen: I was generous. Yes, a few movements happened. I got back to the breath whenever I noticed that I was thinking. The 20 min were long 20 minutes, but I didn't like to stop. 20 min are not such a long time, it must be doable.

Ashtanga yoga, 1st series was good. I didn't omit an asana. So early in the morning I was a bit stiffer as I was in Mallorca (there I practiced later, sometimes after breakfast). I must have been very fast. Within an hour I had done everything including savasana. I'm glad that I did it.

My intention for the day: to be detached, being in the here and now (which means to live and not to dream). It's probably not reasonable to go to the led Ashtanga class this evening, but as I see it, I will go. There are a lot of chores to do. I must tackle these tasks. Every day a little bit and I will progress. Amen.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

The sun

I must modify a previous post. Reality can be so much nicer than dreams. To imagine the sun only on the face is nothing in comparison to sit on the steps, feeling the warm sun in the face. The Italian food was also very good later. Only to think of it is nothing.

There was a quite atmosphere at the steps. So many people were there, many were reading. I like to sit there. I had my warm blanket with me to sit on it.

I will go to bed soon. No yoga today, but tomorrow I will be on my mat again.

Best weather - marathon



I went out for a walk. The weather invited me. It is marathon time in Munich. What an atmosphere. "Run, run", this is the mantra for the marathoners, tall, small, old, young. It seems as if everybody is running. The spectators were good, too. They screamed, beat drums and other instruments.

The body is used for a mental exercise. That's what I think is marathon. And back I am to my "new" interest: the mind.

How do I train the mind:

I use it to remember things. In the last years I had to remember a lot due to the accounting test.

I try to focus the mind. When I do Ashtanga yoga I want to focus on the breath or the drishti or whatsoever. Doing meditation I want to calm down the mind, away from distraction, mental movies, thoughts. Those who try this, know how difficult this can be.

In general it is an exercise to lead the mind and not to be lead by its whims. The untrained mind is very whimsical, at least mine. Not to be a victim of the mind, but to use it as wished, that's the effort to be done. I suspect that this is a never ending task, like yoga.

Meditation

I sat 20 min. Too often I looked at my watch. Each time I thought: it's still time to become quite, still time not to move, getting back to the breath. It was difficult today. I remained on the cushion, this was difficult, too. It's over.

Each sitting session is different. To be concentrated is difficult for me, but it can be learnt.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

On daydreaming


Lately I jumped back into life - away from daydreaming: and what did I found out? Life is more awful than my daydreamings, and even worse, daydreamings are no life. Life can only be lived in reality, life cannot be dreamt. Auweia.

Mhhhh


There are always surprises and not all surprises are pleasant ones. I will observe what will happen. What else remains.

Good practice at home again



Meditation: 20 very long minutes today. It was as if I were sitting an eternity. Impatient I was. It was already later as planned when I started. The later the more lively I get.

Then I had difficulties to start with Ashtanga yoga, but finally I started. The practice was a very good one from the very beginning on. Only to beginn was not so easy.

Technically I improved - that's at least my humble impression. I'm rather thin at the moment. On the picture is my dinner that I had rather often in Mallorca - a few vegan sushi, 2 pieces of tomatoes and water. This was enough. To be thinner helps to do the poses, this is sure.

I didn't make breaks, I practiced fast. Nevertheless I think I should work on the focus, the concentration. So easily I'm distracted through upcoming thoughts.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Evening light in Mallorca

It's already late. I must go to bed, when I want to get up early for my spiritual practices.

No islands without ships


Ah, how I worked today. So hard. My colleague has had no time to do my job during my holidays and I believe it. I worked like a devil today. I worked till 7. Nevertheless it was a good day. Nevertheless I can imagine a life with much less work. This must happen.

On meditation


And then I thought: What is the difference between watching TV, changing channels and my meditation practice? I didn't found a relevant difference. I watched my own movies, most of the time I was detached, but sometimes also not. One mental movie followed the next.
Then I remembered. It's important to get back to the breath. The breath, yes, the breath.
Getting back to the breath makes the difference.

The sea


I must move on now. It's time to go to work again.

...the beach


It's already far away, what I see on the picture. I arrived in Munich yesterday at night. Mallorca was yesterday.

Uttana padasana - five breaths minimum


It was yoga time. I had a lot of time for yoga, meditation, walking close to the beach.

Uttana padasana


.....the preparation


...to get into the pose with straight legs is of course better.

A stony floor and the breath



We arrived in Mallorca and it was sunny and warm. The hotel room had a huge balcony, which invited me to sit. Sitting on the stony floor with a nice view, I thought that that's all what I need: a stony floor and my breath. Being in a luxury hotel inmidst a paradise, this might sound a bit arrogant.

But so it was : how nice it felt to have a solid ground, nice weather and my breath.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

The breath is underestimated

During the first years of my practice I neglected it. To be able to perform an asana was much more important than the breath. I also couldn't concentrate on 2 activities at the same time. More and more I discover the breath. To focus on the breath helps me to endure difficult practices and it intensifies good practices.

But not enough, also when I do Zazen, I get back to the breath all the time. This helps me to get quite and perhaps it is the secret that I'm able to do it at all.

Feelings are expressed via the breath. I only have to observe my breath and I see the level of excitement or calm that I experience.
Stopping the breath causes a stopping of thoughts.
The breath also helps to balance emotions.

Yoga and meditation were very good today: I was concentrated, stayed on my mat and the breath was with me. The same I can say about my meditation. The breath accompanied me. It was wonderful.

I have to hurry now. Suitcases are not yet packed. I have to wake up bf and and and. There is always something to do.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Last day is over

And I'm so glad. It was so much work to do today.

Now I have time to step back. I can relax and plan a bit how my life shall go on. I bit of dreaming is perhaps good as well.

Tomorrow during lunch time we have to be at the airport. I will have time for a yoga practice, then I will practice in Spain. I will see the sea.

Slow, slow, slow

Zazen first: Wonderful 20 min today. I loved the upright position. To sit so straight is a good attitude towards life as well. I concentrated on the breath. So early in the morning I also think nothing from time to time. When thoughts come up again I sometimes think: today you are even too lazy to think. :) I want to get back to lotus pose, as it is more relaxing for the back. Zazen gives me room to experience myself differently. There is not so much ambition. What shall I accomplish? I want to sit 20 min, I don't want to scratch. But when I do it, I accept it. I'm still so happy that after decades of trying to sit I finally can do it. I do not run away anymore nervously after 1 min. I do not judge the thinking either. It is there, but I'm not attached to it. It comes and goes. I return to the breath.

Ashtanga yoga: Difficult today. I needed almost the entire time (40 min) only for the standing positions. I start trusting that better practices will come again. And perhaps this practice was a very good one, because it was so difficult to do it, but I did it. I focused on the breath. That was it, which allowed me to practice. The body was stiff and heavy. Yes, the sinful life style (penne al'arrabiata with a glas of red wine at night) was a reason, too for the difficult practice today. There is no action without influence.

Today is my last working day before vacation. I have so much to do at work. Yesterday I was so concentrated. Exactly one year ago I started working again after a break of two and a half years. I must admit that I'm more disciplined now than without work. The work supports the yoga. This does not mean, that I want to go on like this till the end of my days. I want to work less for others, more for myself. I cannot complain at all, but I have not yet found a work, where I say this is it, I love it. So the search goes on. But this is perhaps not the right approach. It's perhaps better to do the job without judging it as if it is an asana.

The question: Do I like it? is perhaps a wrong question per se. Other tasks will appear, I know this and they will be accompanied with feelings and thoughts.

Perhaps it is totally indifferent what I'm doing as long as I do it consciously?

(Is it really the same to work in a factory doing piecework or to work at a desk doing accounting? I did both, I know what I prefer.)

Curtain closed, all questions open.

Monday, October 01, 2007

I went

I went to the led Ashtanga class and I wanted to be good. No mercy with me. I wanted to be flexible and strong this evening and I probably was strong and flexible. I like to go to classes because I like to meet people.

At home again I seduced E. to go out. We had a nice evening in an Italian restaurant.

Tomorrow is my last working day before my trip to Mallorca, Spain. tralalitralala, tralalitralala.

I feel cold, it is cold, winter time

My hamstrings are sore, very sore today. It can be worse, but it didn't please me at all. The first surya namaskara a was a hell, the second, too, then it got easier. I breathed evenly, but I could move only very slowly. Of course I was attentive, I had no other choice. The body is tight, the mind was weak, too. Perhaps the mind wasn't that weak, because I stayed 45 min on the mat, doing yoga poses. Mood is not the best, but I suspect that it is the monthly cycle which influences my thinking and feeling today. The body feels better now, I noticed it when I wanted to pick up my watch. To find the right attitude towards life - this is the challenge today.

Zazen was a challenge, too, today. The 20 min didn't end. I had to change the position from time to time.

Still 2 working days and then I have a few days off. How I need it.