I did the grocery shopping this morning. Yes, it was my idea to make the dinner this evening. In the last years we spent a fortune for bad food in restaurants. The more expensive, the worse the food, I thought every year. There are luxury grocery shops here in Munich, too. Close to the station is one of them. I found everything I needed there. Bf called me this morning with the words "We have to loose weight". I don't know why he said "we". But somehow he is right - as a woman doing Ashtanga I have always some pounds to loose.
This in mind I decided to go for a light Italian dinner: Winter salad with fried mushrooms on it and some peppers as a starter, noodles with a hot sauce with olives and capers then. Fruits as a dessert. We have red wine at home, but I don't need it. I bought a very little bottle of champagne for midnight. It's still part of my imagination that champagne is good at midnight, champagne and music by Johann Sebastian Bach (Brandenburg's Concerts).
Oh, my tax declaration 2006 is posted. Ha, I did it. I could open the champagne right now. Ha.
I digress. The grocery shop was crowded. People stood in long lines, some impatient, some patient. But all wanted to get the best food, the best wine, whatever this might be for everyone.
I got my best food, fresh food. I was patient and enjoyed the greed and lust for the best of the others.
Now it's time for meditation and yoga: Today first series - humble I will do the forward bending. Tomorrow the first day of the year I will do back bending. It's said that this is heart opening.
Am I glad that I practiced even though it was already 3 p.m.
The body was flexible and strong, the breath was even, I experienced flow. Only after kapotasana I cursed. Such a difficult pose. I lifted my body up into urdhva dhanurasana and was even able to walk the hands to the feet a bit.
I held the poses five breaths long without cheating a bit. I'm so relaxed and hungry now.
All my bank statements are entered now and the credit card. There is still a huge pile on my desk. I must work result-oriented now. Till tomorrow the taxes must be ready and I have to write a letter to the landlord that I want to mail tomorrow as well.
But now I need a break. Time is running through my fingers. It's awful. It's not relaxing. But I was so lazy during the last year.
I just finished the second book by Jed McKenna "Spiritual incorrect enlightenment". Great. Excellent.
Both books are not books that I read and then I go on with daily life. Perhaps it is not a matter of choice, but I guess these books will have great influence on me. 2008 starts getting a shape.
Sometimes I'm told that I was so honest. I see this as a compliment and I like it. The thought that follows after this compliment is, if I can really be honest. So often I lie to myself and I only realize it later. My last lie lies a few posts away. I wrote that I wanted to do all the annual accounts in order to see if I'm able to do it. This is bullshit. I don't want to prove anything to anybody. Annual accounts, annual depreciation, accruals, long lists, all this bores me. That's why it will be so hard for me to go to work the next year. I have no motivation. I couldn't care less. I only fear that they want to get rid of me and that I won't have an income anymore and that worse jobs will follow. This will be a topic in 2008, too. How to go on, how to make money coming in easily? Big questions.
Yes, I go on now with my tax declaration 2006. There will be a big party when it will be done.
...and then I bought another book at amazon: Naked to the Truth.
What am I doing? Imagine all the recommendations I will get from amazon now: You liked this or that book, you probably like this book, too.
Trying to get rid of the ego (the prison) makes me crazy. The ego does somersaults. This morning I wanted to keep my old clothes and now I want to find the truth naked. As if I have nothing else to do.
Finally I made it with my clothes to this nice second hand shop. Women can be seen there, of whom one never would think, that they wear second hand clothes. In the shop red clothes are on the left side, blue clothes on the right side and white clothes in the middle. Black clothes are in the backroom. They sell brands there.
This time the shop was crowded with women who wanted to make a good buy. It's a place of trade there. Some sell, some buy, some do both.
I couldn't sell anything of my clothes. I was told that the clothes were either too old or old-fashioned. Trousers must end at the hips at the moment, no matter if this looks nice or not. How often have I seen ugly underwear only because the trousers end so early. Worse enough, when people don't care what they wear directly on their skin, but even worse not to care to show it.
I'm perhaps not such a fashion freak. I know what's nice for me. Petite as I am it's good to wear uni colors, short jackets, cool pastel shades, only to mention some of the rules I take into consideration when I buy something new. It's not easy for me to find clothes that fit, but when I find something I fall in love with I have it often years, sometimes decades. This has advantages. I'm not dressed like everybody. Oh, and this is so important. :)
On my way home I considered to sell my clothes at EBay. "Do I really cling that much on that old clothes", I asked myself. I want to get rid of my opinions, my past, my convictions, my hopes, how shall this happen when I'm not able to let go of an old Burberry with coffee spots on it. I was in front of the Pinakothek when I found a garbage basket. There I slowly threw away all these old clothes. I felt lighter afterwards. This process must go on.
But I ironed, I did the laundry and I have to go on with these tasks. It's important to do these other tasks too. I cannot decide if this is an excuse for my laziness. But I'm glad that things get done.
It's cold and sunny here. I must go out to sell clothes. Space clearing process goes on. I must clear my soul and I must clear my rooms. Not much is needed.
it's too much work and I do not know how I shall do everything. I will have to struggle next year. I will try to keep the job. I was stupid today, I voluntarily offered to work during the weekends next year. Awful. But I know I won't be able to do the job without additional hours. After 9 hours of intensive work I cannot concentrate anymore. Then I really get slowly and I make mistakes.
But now I have 4 days off in a row and I must care for my own things. I must forget this employee thing. Better than ever I arrive in the present, when I want it. I want to drink a cup of tea, I will take a bath and then my long weekend starts. Yes.
I went to bed at 9 yesterday and this was a good deciscion. I was so tired and I needed sleep.
The first thing I do in the morning now is to turn on the heaters. It's cold here. Then I make my coffee. The second cup of black coffee is next to me now. It warms me.
Morning pages: There is so much to write at the moment. I thought about likes and dislikes this morning. A few months ago I still thought that likes and dislikes per se are part of the own prison, a limitation. Now I would say, it depends.......I can retrace that likes and dislikes always remain. With the process of awakening they might get another meaning. They might become less a means to distinguish from others i.e. (i.e. drinking Bordeaux instead of an ordinary glass of beer), but more what they are, likes and dislikes, nothing more without additional meaning. Likes and dislikes might change, give some pleasure or not, but are not overfreighted with feelings that have nothing to do with it.
Meditation: It's the rare time without distraction. When I meditate I'm only with me, no music, everything is quite even me, I sit calmly on my cushion. It's so nice, I enjoy this.
But then I felt the urgent need to fold clothes. Aggression came up. When I get aggressive, I often think that it is a luck, because oppressed aggression leads to depression. So glad that I'm not depressed. Only a few suryas were possible today. Then I was fed up with yoga, or was I only tired, desperate because nothing makes sense? Everything in vain? (I don't want to blame others for my feelings!)
There won't be much time to think today, no much time for feelings. I will have to work like crazy today. But it's Friday. Then I will have a few days for me, which I have to fill with work, too. But at least I will have time to do what must be done. Lighthearted I want to step into the New Year.
How fast feelings change, I feel relaxed, and I'm looking forward to my breakfast.
We are still in the valley. The work (a huge mountain) is still in front of us. But I get already a taste of it. I had scarcly time to breath today. I worked till 6 p.m. I had no break, but now a break-down. No, just a joke. The annual accounts are no joke, they are work. Somehow I left the company with a good feeling. I was optimistic. I do what I can, if it won't be enough - fine, I tried it, this was my attitude today.
No blogging for now. I want to read, I have to shower, and I have to go on with my own taxes and accounting. Yes.
I couldn't sleep. I woke up every few minutes - at least it seemed so. Finally I slept a bit, but soon I woke up again - I had a nightmare. I tried to sleep again and I had again the same nightmare (someone wanted to kill me - hahaha).
At 5 I got up, wrote 2 morning pages, started meditating. After 10 min I interrupted my sitting meditation and I went to bed again. I was too tired to do anything. The 1 hour in bed was relaxing, I even slept a bit.
The day today will be awful, I'm tired. I think: I want to sleep, I want to sleep, I want to sleep. But I just fetched another cup of black coffee.
So busy. 2006 was one of my worst years, I guess, but only financially. I had a lot of time 2006.
But now I have to reconstruct everything. Progress can be seen already. But now I see that I'm missing two important forms from the tax office. This means I cannot go on, I cannot finish this work. This makes me crazy. Perhaps I find the forms on the net. Ha, good idea.
2006 is over, I want to finish it, too, and I want to finish it today.
P.S.: Oh, the net is great, I found the forms, I can go on. P.S.2: It's 4:40 p.m. and I can see the whole desaster. I seem to have done nothing since August 2006. All the papers/invoices are on my desk. It's awful, and I cannot blame anybody but myself for this nightmare now. I give me a break and then I have to go on, I accomplished already much. So, this shall be my motivation. P.S.3: It's 7:00 p.m. and I do not find all bank statments. It drives me crazy. P.S.4: It's 7:20 p.m. and I found relevant bank statments. :)
Decades ago I came into contact with NLP (neurolinguistic programming). I even attended a 5 days workshop with Richard Bandler (the founder) in Switzerland.
Till now I profit from the knowledge that I have learned in that workshop, from books and from a course that lasted more than a year. I use the techniques of NLP in interviews, when I want to sell something, when I speak with "difficult" people, or when I want to see another perspective for myself, when I want to lift up my mood and and and.
The first thing NLP teacher tell, is that people make for themselves a map of this world (via the senses), but this map is not the world itself. This map can be changed for the better. Many mental techniques are available to do it. I proved these techniques as rather effective. The map gets better, but it remains a map.
From a spiritual standpoint this is a way to make the prison more comfortable. Enlightened or awake people have left the prison behind, might it be awful or even cosy. That's the goal. The doors shall be open.
To let the prison (the Ego) behind me, in order to see the Truth, this can be a modest goal for the year 2008. By the way, my prison is rather comfortable.
And this exciting travelling started with the wish to get the leg behind the head.
"Bingo" I screamed when I saw my fire red, soft bathrobe. I loved it from first sight. It's so nice on the skin and the color is perfect, too.
This wonderful present shall initiate the space clearing process. The flat and the mind needs decluttering. I'm going to throw away the old bathrobe. It's only a start. Many things will follow. I must be radical.
The bathrobe was my mother's idea. She always know what others like. :)
The CD helped me to breathe evenly, it helped me to hold the poses for 5 breaths. After marichyasana b I switched off the CD, I need more time for marichyasana c and d and for supta kurmasana. I held the last poses rather long in order to relax and to go deeper into these poses.
It was wonderful, I enjoyed the practice.
Yesterday I searched the net for a picture of Jed McKenna. I found one. I knew that he would be a good-looking guy. And he is a damned handsome guy - a sunny boy. What a surprise - he has already written a third book: It's called "Spiritual warfare". What a title.
Somehow I felt agitated this morning. I didn't like to avoid meditation. So I did it and it was better than expected. I observed the thoughts and let it go.
At first I sat in lotus pose. After a while my feet felt cold. I started counting my breath. Till 10 I counted then I opened my legs. 16 min I was in lotus pose, then I opened my legs and observed the pinholes and how my feet got warm again.
I'm back home. Work is waiting here (tax declaration 2006, chores). It's freezing cold here. My ginger tea warmed me. I have to go out to fetch another book from the packstation. Then a relaxing evening at home can begin.
As long as I do something it is OK. I only don't want to dream my life away.
I won't loose my daily Ashtanga yoga practice because I didn't practice 3 times in a row. Yoga shall support my life. There were other things to do and they still are. The faster I do them the better.
All the gifts are wrapped, only the socks for my father are not finished. These socks frustrated me so much yesterday. I have to undo one sock. I do not know anymore how to do the verse. Now it's clear that I won't be able to finish them till tomorrow evening. This made me crazy. I must learn that these little disturbances are not a tragedy.
The other presents are wrapped already. And I did a wire transfer, I folded clothes, I washed clothes, I did the dishes and and and......., yes it's a day of action.
At 1 I have to leave my home. Train leaves Munich at 1:40. I still have to pack my suitcase.
And tomorrow in the evening (Christmas) we will eat Sauerkraut and potatoes. My parents will eat some sausages to the Kraut and potatoes. I love this food.
Now I have atmosphere for yoga for any spiritual practices. Basic chores are done, it's clean here and things are on their places. Oh, there is still a lot to do, but now it is really at least better than 2 hours earlier.
Sometimes I ask myself how others manage their lives. We are a couple with no kids, we have almost no duties. We only do our jobs and we have some personal things to do. We do not have intensive hobbies or too many friends. Nothing alike. OK, I'm fully responsible for all the chores, but this other people have to do as well. Why is it so difficult for me to manage everything.
Breakfast now, some more chores, knitting and then I will have time for yoga. I can practice in the afternoon as well. It shows that I'm flexible.
I sat. At first I sat on my sofa, comfortable. The black cup of coffee was next to me, my journal laid on my legs. The coffee was still hot. I was considering: Shall I do yoga or shall I not do yoga. To be or not to be. When I do not practice I will have the feeling of having time. The legs are still a bit overstretched. I need a break. Result: I didn't practice. To think is dangerous. It often leads to nothing.
I sat. But I wanted to meditate. 18 min I sat in lotus pose today. This gave me a feeling of success, of having accomplished something. 18 min. Then I opened my legs, blood was running through my legs again, but no pinholes today. When the 20 min were over I was almost a bit sad.
Christmas presents: I have not yet wrapped up E.'s Christmas present. I have no paper either and today he will drive home. I won't have an opportunity to pack it. He: It doesn't matter. Oh, how wonderful. No stress.
Back hurts. This tells me something. I must take care of myself.
Construction ahead: The past and the future does not exist. The future is a construction of the mind. This becomes clearer and clearer for me. I'm not yet laid off.
How is the here and now? I feel cold.
Richard Sylvester's book is great. He writes about something that cannot be described: enlightenment or the disappearance of the person. He is able to do it within a few pages (100 something, but the letters are large) . Here a few topics, I can remember: Our mind works like this: 1000 hours of meditation and then pang, you have it: happiness all the time or enlightenment or...... This won't happen. Consequence - all the spiritual practices might lead to some nice experiences, but not to satori, the disappearance of the person, the end of seeking. Something else was interesting for me, too. Equanimity, not being touched by anything won't happen either. Feelings come and go, likes and dislikes will remain as well. Neurotic feelings will disappear. This is i.e. feelings of guilt, shame, fear. The book is interesting. Read it.
Do I want to get enlightened now? Have I found something new, a new goal? No, please not. I'm busy enough.
I had the feeling of having time this morning. It's Friday, weekend is coming. Nothing to fear, nothing to complain. Everything is OK.
I left the company at 7 and my desk is still full of "important" work. I was not the only one who left the company so late. A young colleague accompanied me to the subway. He worked as long as I did. But we both are convinced that time is precious. Why do we work so long then?
Somehow it's a challenge the job and I want to see if I can do it. But today it was again too much.
At home I searched my pin for the pack station. The second book by McKenna arrived. I walked to the pack station and fetched the book. On my way home I stopped at McDonald's. I was as hungry as a wolf. The pommes with ketchup and the Coca Cola are very good there.
At home again I put my business clothes on the hanger. I want to have it comfortable at home.
It was a good decision to take a day off from yoga. Body needed it (after 108 sun saluts yesterday).
I meditated. Lotus pose is the best pose to sit. I sat 13 min in that pose before I looked at my watch the first time, then I sat another 4 min before I opened lotus pose. Pinholes were felt then. This were more the formal aspects, which are important, too. Look, how quite you can sit, I thought, there is nothing to worry about. (I worry about my job at the moment, I'm so overwhelmed and I doubt, if I'm able to do it.)
I could sit quite, I breathed, emotionally I was quite, too. The paradise is now, here and now. I sat and breathed evenly. And then the 20 min were over. But meditation will go on. I will observe struggling U., who wants to become relaxed.
Work: I have to interrupt the thinking circle: I'm not able to do the job, I'm not able to do the job and so on. I'm overwhelmed, I'm overwhelmed, I'm overwhelmed.......Instead of looking for solutions, instead of working, I repeat my desperate mantras. It has started, that I feel how stressful it will become. I have to stay cool, I have to trust myself.
S. led us (5 woman) perfectly. I didn't have to count by myself. S. used a mala with 108 beads.
Then S. said: this is the 30. sun salutation. I thought I did already 200. I almost laughed out loud. 30 I thought, and we want to do 108. ????? OMG.
My face relaxed. I didn't think a lot. I tried to do the sun saluts correctly in order not to injure me. Flow was experienced. It helped me to do the whole thing. It was not that easy. Savasana was great at the end.
At the end I wanted to pay, but S. insisted that this was my Christmas present. So sweet. A wonderful present: 108 sun salutation.
Decision is made: no yoga tomorrow, it's my personal moon day tomorrow. But I will meditate and I will write my journal.
Sitting: During sitting I had a lot of dialogues with colleagues, with bf, with whomever. Dialogue means I'm talking and the other person has to listen. I even reacted emotionally as if all this were true. But that's the learning process, I thought. Thoughts are not reality. This must be seen. I was sitting alone in the middle of my warm room. No reason to worry about, no reason to show feelings or whatever. Nobody was around me, to whom I could talk. It' so easy to confuse reality with the movies, dialogues, feelings the mind produces.
The challenges of the job come later. Now I sit here, blogging, sipping my black cup of coffee.
My invented dialogues are not reality. When the invented dialogues are not reality, what else is not reality?
Yoga: It was good even it was not good. I practiced, this was good. It was a rather sloppy practice and I was distracted, this was not good. I'm not excellent every day. Is this something I should criticize? I don't think so. I lifted my body up into urdhva dhanurasana, I could touch the finger tips when I was in supta kurmasana, I did garbha pindasana and I could hold my ears in that pose. That's something. Discontent I is always awake. Perfection is imagined and compared with humble reality. (Oh, an imagined perfect urdhva dhanurasana can never compete with my real urdhva dhanurasana. I forgot it for a fracture of a second.)
Yes, my back hurts again. Too much work. Too long in the same position. I pay attention that I'm in an upright comfortable position at work, but it didn't help that much. I must trust myself, that I will be able to do the job. I want it.
"Darling (kiss, kiss), it's 6, you wanted to get up." "Give me another little hour."
I'm so curious - 108 sun salutations this evening. Ha.
"Damned, don't get lost in dreaming". That's what I told me when it got too comfortable to sit. It's easy to dream the time away. But this is not as it is supposed to be. To let go of thoughts, to be in the here and now is the goal. I don't think that the intention of Zen is to cultivate dreaming. I must be very attentive not to dream. What is better now is the seat. After 13 min I looked the first and last time at my watch. Then I opened the lotus pose. It was easy to sit that long. Nothing hurt or was uncomfortable.
Yoga: I thought the entire time of my 108 sun salutations tomorrow. Will it be difficult? Will I count correctly? How will it be? I will be able to answer this questions tomorrow late in the evening. I practiced and this is what counts. I needed breaks, but I stayed on the mat. I even did urdhva dhanurasana. I want to loose the respect of this pose.
Dialogue with bf: Me: When shall I wake you up tomorrow? He: At five. Me: I do not wake you up at five, you never get up. What about six? He: Yes at six. This morning I interrupted my yoga after the suryas. I gave him a lot of kisses on his cheek to give him the feeling that it is a wonderful day. Me: Darling it's six o'clock. You wanted to get up. He: Yes, I get up. That's the last sentence I have heard so far.
It's seven now. He is still in bed. He looks so sweet when he is sleeping.
I'm done. It was so much work to do. Incredible much work.
During lunch time I bought toothpaste, shampoo.
Then I went on with the work. At 5 I couldn't go on. I went home.
Bf was at home today, busy with his tax declaration. I know him as a hungry wolf. On my way home I bought delicious food (artichokes, mango lassie, fresh bread, Lebkuchen, red wine). We had dinner together, but I'm still exhausted.
I will go to bed early. So much work is waiting here, too. I will knit a bit. This shall be my evening meditation.
Meditation was focused. After 15 minutes I looked the first time at my watch. That's very long for me. Then I opened the lotus pose and sat quite another 5 min. Thoughts came up of course, should have let them go faster perhaps. And finally this activity shall make me know "The Truth"? Let's see. At the moment this activity shows me that my thoughts and feelings are not the truth. They are really only thoughts that come and go. Arbitrarily. When I do not focus on something special it's always a surprise what comes up and it has nothing to do with the current situation, that I sit on my cusion in the middle of the room.
Yoga started relaxed and slow. The breath was deep. I had no time to do all the asanas. But I did all the monster asanas:
Marichyasana c and d Supta kurmasana and urdhva dhanurasana.
I could bind the maris and supta kurmasana, but couldn't hold the wrist, the bow of urdhva dhanurasana was a modest one. Who cares. To do these poses means to loose the respect and bit by bit they will become easy. And one day I will say: That's nothing. :)
This reminds me of another asana: garbha pindasana. I used to think about this pose, that this is one of those that I won't be able to do (too short arms). Yesterday and today I could put my middle fingers on my ears. This is how the pose is supposed to be. To think something is not doable is a limitation created by the own mind. Not everything is possible, but much more is possible than I think. Perhaps it makes sense to generalize this. When I can do garbha pindasana, I can also do the tax declarations.
What will be possible today??? - More than I believe???
Schedule of the week is thight, but with much fun and much duties. Highlight will be the 108 sun salutations at S.'s home on Wednesday.
I don't like to reflect on the day. I did a lot and a lot is not done. That's always the same. In addition to too much tasks, I also wasted too much time. At least the socks grow - the Christmas present for my father.
Sometimes I dream that I sit comfortably on my sofa and I say to myself self-contented: Now everything is done, what has to be done. (Guess this won't happen so fast)
I'm so sure a higher consciousness, an awaken state of being or even enlightenment won't help me to handle the daily, weekly tasks. Perhaps I take it easier then. Handling daily challenges I need another solution.
I must simplify my life. I must attack these daily tasks faster.
And now I'm going to read a book by an author, who is supposed to be enlightened and wrote about it. The English title of the book is "Hope you die soon", by Richard Sylvester. This book shall be funny - English humor.
At 10 p.m. I will switch off the lights. And what will happen tomorrow???
I showed B. the wool: I told her that I wasn't sure if the colors are nice. She pointed at an old man, who sat at the table next to us. "The colors would fit to him, won't them?" she said.
And she was right. When I doubt now if the colors are nice, I think, but for a man they are good. E. liked the colors at once. Then my father will like it, too. The color is not so important for him, he likes self-made socks because they are warm.
Meditation was miserable. I was glad when it was over. It's incredible what for stories my mind invents. Let's change the subject.
Yoga was slow, slow, slow. This time I can blame my bf for the interruptions. Was it really necessary to ring the bell when he came back from the bakery? I just was in salamba sarvangasana. It's so nice to feel my energy when things like this happen. Faster than ever I can abstract from the event and I can feel the energy, that is neutral. It can be used for what ever I like.
Body felt, yes, old today. As long as I go on with my practice, everything is OK, I thought. It's always up and down. Only to stop practicing is a sign that I gave up, but never a practice that is not so good.
I have energy now to do all the chores and paper work I have to do. I needed that lazy day yesterday, I'm recovered.
The mind needs pictures, movies. Self-talk is not effective.
Attentive readers might already suspect it: tax declaration 2006 is not yet done. I needed a day off. It was nice and relaxing to knit, to meet B. and to do nothing. I need that, too. Time to go to bed. I know what I have to do tomorrow.
So much reluctance. I must look at it.
Before sleeping I will imagine how beautiful it looks when I sort all the invoices and when I fill in the tax declaration. It will be an exciting movie. I will learn how much money I earned in 2006. Perhaps I get money back what is likely to happen. It will come to an happy-end finally. Ohhh.
It was one of the days where it was difficult to start. Finally I switched on the radio and I practiced. I couldn't hear my breath due to the sound, but at least I practiced. Breaks happened. A lot of breaks. Several times I left the mat, but I returned and went on. And then flow was there again. I started loving my body, I loved it that I can do so many poses.
I didn't omit one single asana. I don't want to omit something in life, too: Longing, love, desperation, hope, tiredness, energy, satisfaction, curiosity - I don't want to omit a single feeling.
Reluctantly I have to do my tax declaration 2006 now. Hough. I have spoken. Hough.
My father wants socks for Christmas. Yesterday I was looking for my needles, found them and I started. Knitting makes me addicted. I must go on and go on and go on till the project is finished.
So many other project must be finished this weekend, too. I'm sloppy with my morning routine. No yoga, no meditation so far. I walk around in my yoga clothes - that's it and in my mind is breakfast (sunflower bread with apricot jam).
A list, I need a list:
-tax declaration 2006 -cleaning all the rooms (all) -letter to the landlord to inform him about the broken water meter - grocery shopping and Christmas shopping -updating accounting -writing some emails -yoga and meditation
Meditation: I sat 20 min in lotus pose. I forgot to feel uncomfortable, I didn't draw my attention to my seat every second. Only during the last 5 min I felt that my legs got numb. I practiced retention of the senses. Still in lotus pose I bowed forward three times, neglecting the pinholes at the end of the practice. (6:30 - news on the radio - have to wake up E., who is now in Denmark) I watched my mind movies, got back to the breath, watched again the mind movies. It was one of the meditations that makes me go on.
But I didn't go on with my yoga practice afterwards. After a few suryas I gave up, even though it would have been good for my back to practice. My back needs special care and love at the moment. It's Friday, I think, but this is an excuse. Lazy I won the battle.
I'm so glad, that it's the last working day of this week. I should go on time to go to a yoga class. That's something to look forward to.
The Christmas party was great. After dinner (a buffet, which is good for me, so I can really eat what I want), we were asked to write a wish on a card. This card we should hang on a still dark Christmas tree. With every wish a light went on and finally the tree was "enlightened". In return to the wish we got a present - a rather large sack with a lot of sweets, jam, nuts in it.
Life bands played good music afterwards, but I have priorities. I thought of my practice in the morning. And finally I left the party rather early. Before midnight I was in bed and today I got up at 5. Yes, good.
I was focused on my practice, no breaks. I wanted to use my time and not to waste it. I gained weight. It's horrible for me. I really will pay attention not to eat too much. These parties are not good for the body. At 6:30 I interrupted my practice, my first and only break. I had to call E., who is Sweden now. He emailed me to wake him up. I know at once when I hear his voice if he has had a good evening or not. He had a good one. Remembering his voice, I'm not at all sure if he got up after my phone call. I told him about our Christmas party. Then I found the way back to my mat. A quick closing sequence followed - that was it. I'm looking forward to an intensive practice on the weekend.
Relaxed in the here and now, so I will live my day.
I slept too long. The bath, I suspect the evening bath, that made me so relaxed. 20 min later as usual I got up. My morning routine was out of order. I meditated. Or better, I sat on my cushion, rather unfocused. That was it for today.
I folded clothes. I loved it. I made the bed, I loved it.
Breakfast, yes, breakfast, I want to eat a slice of sunflower bread with apricot jam.
Christmas party this night - it will be again a very long day.
I was very much in the here and now today, focused on too much work. It came almost as a surprise when my colleague told me that I should go to the boss for the review.
I summarize: He was great, I was great. Even laughter happened easily, naturally. Very relaxed everything, but serious, too. I get a further education in VAT. That I shall become faster was more a help, so that I won't have so much stress in the beginning of the year, when the annual accounts must be done. It was a supportive conversation. I think he is a good leader, really. (Everybody, who can lead me is a good leader. :))
Ahhh, the bath, so hot, so good, so relaxing. I didn't like music, I wanted silence.
Tomorrow is the Christmas party of the company. Everyday something else. Ah, the here and now. Ahhhh.
I had a rather distracted practice. It was difficult to find focus. My body was not overstretched from the intensive practice yesterday, but a bit tired. I took it easy. Fast I went from one asana to the next. The closing sequence was very quick: salamba sarvangasana, halasana, mayurasana, sirsasana, padmasana, savasana. Laying on the floor I used the little cushion, filled with lavender that S. sold me yesterday. I put it on my eyes. It's new to me to feel this weight on my eyes. I observe how my eyes role. The cushion is cool.
Yesterday in the evening I wrote a good-night email to my bf, who is again on a business trip, this time in the Netherlands. This morning I found an answer in my inbox: .........please wake me up at six. .................From the moment on when I've read this I feel responsible that I wake him up and that he gets up. At 6 a.m., it's exactly after my suryas, I interrupted my holy yoga practice and called him. He has switched off his mobile phone. No way to wake him up.
This are the moments where I can shoot him to the moon. But faster than ever I enjoyed the energy that I feel in such moment. Oh, how much energy I have, I think, and I love it. What an opportunity to observe what outside events still can do to me. The event has no meaning.
And today: At first I wanted to write, that I get judged today. But this is not correct. Nobody is interested in me, but in my work. And by the way - who am I? Pure consciousness. hahaha. And this cannot be judged. What an opportunity again to observe.
At breakfast I ate the hard slice of bread from the day before yesterday. It was hard. But not hard bread is hard, no bread is hard. I put margarine and apricot jam on it. Delicious.
PS: Just got a phone call from E. The battery of his mobile phone doesn't work anymore. He is already on his way to Norway. He got up on time. The wake-up service at the hotel was reliable.
S. was the teacher and she was great. She is pregnant now and has a most beautiful belly.
It was an intensive practice. We held the poses rather long, I felt the edges and went behind them. I'm curious how I will feel tomorrow. Now I feel great.
Work: Tomorrow I will have the annual review. I forgot it, we had better topics to talk about, S. and me after the yoga class: yoga, and the yoga community, India, attitudes towards life. :) Regarding the review - I fear the worst. Or should I write that I'm thankful for another opportunity where I can test how detached I can be. I think, it's not important, isn't it?
Tired, but before I will sleep, I will read a bit.
I took it easy today. The excellent practice of yesterday could still be felt in my bones.
But first some words on meditation: I'm still struggling with some formal issues - the seat. I start now with lotus pose. After 13 min I unfolded the legs. This was the longest time that I was in that pose easily so far. It was a quite session.
Ashtanga yoga: It was good to stretch the body, to do these asanas. There was not enough time for every asana, but I did supta kurmasana and urdhva dhanurasana. I was not unhappy about urdhva dhanurasana. I stretched the legs, I stretched the arms and I held the pose for several breath. It's a pose that needs patience and endurance.
This evening I will go to a yoga class and then I will have a drink with S. I'm looking forward to it. This saves my day.
Attitude of the day: focus, focus, focus, observing what is, not being detached and again observing. I want to wake up. I want to live before I die.
It was reading time. This book by Mc Kenna will become a milestone on my way to wake up. Oh, how much I wish to say one day "I'm through". I'm not yet through the soap opera called life, but I see a glimpse on the horizon that shows the path. I take myself and all the things that happen much too seriously till now. That's for sure.
He is an excellent narrator, this Jed.
The outcome of being enlightened is to wake up and not to become a better person or a balanced person. To know the truth is the outcome. To know what is false and what is true, to know oneself is the outcome at the end the path.
Regarding McKenna being detached is a by-product of the awakening process, but not the first goal.
It's so difficult to write down what I've read so far. Read, it's a recommendation.
I was out with E. We were at an Italian restaurant. Food was very good as usual. Me (on our way home): 2 sleeping people were out for dinner. He: You should have talked on mathematics with me.
1. a daily practice - same time, same place 2. healthy food, no drugs, a slim body 3. enough sleep and a schedule that allows to have enough time 4. to observe the rules: doing udjyaiy breathing, using the bandhas, being conscious 6. to trust the body 7. to enjoy the practice, to have fun
It's time now for some spiritual reading: Jed McKenna - spiritual enlightenment - the damnedest thing.
And then I will attack the most interesting task of the day - my own tax declaration 2006.
I felt slight resistance to practice. But finally I found my way to the mat. In the beginning I made some quick breaks off and on the mat, but then I had it again: flow and focus on the breath.
Second series is as demanding as first series. How I like challenges.
Kapotasana: I found a very good approach to that pose. I lie down on the floor and lift myself up. I try to walk my hands closer to the feet and this I could do today. Oh, my hands are far away from my feet and the body is only a few inches away from the floor, but it's an approach that helps me to progress.
Dwi pada sirsasana: I have not yet found an approach to that pose. I can deepen yoga nidrasana and eka pada sirsasana, but that was it. I tried to put 1 leg behind my head while lying on the floor. Then I changed legs. Perhaps all these exercises will allow me one day to do dwi pada sirsasana.
To take the leg behind the head gets easier, even though I have to hold it with my hand. Or was it so "easy" today, because it was just a good day. I held almost all the poses longer as usual. I enjoyed them. I also trusted my body. But today I could live my ambition without the danger of injuring myself.
Tittibasana was weak, very weak, but I indicated it and I didn't omit it.
I tried pincha mayurasana, parighasana, gomukhasana and supta urdhva pada vajrasana.
Last but not least I wanted to do urdhva dhanurasana. 3 times I lifted my body up and walked my hands a bit to the feet. I felt that the bow was good. I'm still far away from standing up from this pose, but I have the patience. I just don't want to injure myself.
Finally I was happy in savasana: wet, exhausted, healthy.
Usually we react automatically, often even unconsciously. There is an action and a reaction. Bf comes later as promised and I get angry, I couldn't finish my work, I feel fear to loose my job, I get a present and I'm happy. This is my prison. Behaviour, feelings are predictable, learned and not at all reasonable or even useful. (This is the theory, that I have read in many books and I found it to be true.)
Meditating I try exactly the opposite. There is an "action" a thought for instance and I try not to react, but to observe it and to let go. Itching is felt somewhere on the body and I'm supposed not to react. The itching shall disappear after some time and most of the time it is so.
What happened today during my meditation session: I scratched, when I felt itching. Then my lower back (ass) became cold and I warmed it with my hands. At the end of the session my legs got numb and I gave them a quick (very quick) massage. And I was not really detached when I thought that I haven't done yet my tax declaration.
There were a few breaths where I thought nothing, but soon a thought showed up again: "What? I'm only breathing without thinking? That's not possible."
And now I feel pinholes on my legs. It seems to be a long way to break out of the prison action-reaction. To see meditation under this aspect makes it revolutionary for me.
Am I a revolutionist when I meditate? Let's break all the rules. Let's meditate.
Ashtanga yoga: 1st and 2nd series. I have a stable daily practice. I always want to be better, this hasn't changed. The focus shifted from the pure physical exercise to the mental exercise: to focus, not to be so distracted became important, to give up thoughts like "this pose I will never be able to do".
Spirituality: I don't believe it, but I started with meditation. It's humble, very humble, but these 20 min every day are worth doing. To be detached, to observe what happens add new qualities to my life.
I have many plans for the next year. To live, not to dream is so important.
Feelings change. There are pleasant feelings, negative feelings, all sorts of feelings. They all change. And this will always be like that, no matter how far I go on on the "spiritual path".
I can develop a stable attitude towards it: I can observe it, instead of being attached to it. I can enjoy it, because each feeling is a possibility to learn something about me. Feelings show me that I'm alive. I can know that each and every feeling is not for eternity. Attitudes and thoughts can be stable, but not feelings.
It was probably a good practice, but I thought I could be better already. The same old song was played in my mind software. It's time to delete it, to clean the mind, to do space clearing.
The breath accompanied my practice - deeply and even.
For me it's true: as soon as I have some pounds more an my ribs and this is the case at the moment, the practice gets more difficult. Then I'm no more able to catch the wrist in mari c and d. So, I will have to work on my weight, too. It's only 4 pounds that I want to loose.
Urdhva dhanurasana: Yes, this was good. I lifted myself up 3 times and the arms were stretched in the pose. It gets better this demanding back bending.
Focus was there, fun too. I enjoyed the practice.
There is no way to go on after the middle part of the first series in order to do half of second series. After the middle part of the first series I'm done. I'm still too weak for further asanas. I'm glad when dhanurasana is done and when I can relax in salamba sarvangasana.
I enjoyed savasana. After a while I turned to the right and what did I see? I found my red earring under the Indonesian chest. What a nice surprise at the end of a wonderful practice.
I started with lotus pose, right leg first. I wanted to hold the pose as long as possible. My meditation clock was on my left side - out of sight.
Thoughts came up: "Am I tired?" - "A thought". "How long will I be able to hold lotus pose?" "A thought." "I still think that I'm supposed to do so many things, instead of wanting it". "A thought." "I must write my book." "A thought." "When will it be over this session?". "A thought." "It must already be 15 min that I sit." And I got back to the breath all the time. "How will be my yoga today." "A thought."
Then my legs got numb. I unfolded them and could feel how the blood was running into the legs. I looked at my watch - 15 min have passed. I thought that this was rather good, but nevertheless I was astonished that it wasn't later. It felt as if I got pinholes, when I had unfolded my legs. "Observe it." "Don't move." "A thought." "When will it be over?"
Movements and scratching happened, too.
And then it was over. "What, it's over already," I thought.
I finished the evening with sitting meditation. It seems to be incredible difficult for me not to scratch me, not to move at all.
I have a new challenge now. It's very difficult, too, but doable. I don't want to look at my meditation clock anymore. 4 or 5 times I look at that clock during meditation. I'm so easily distracted. I meditated 15 min, then I stopped, but within these 15 min I didn't look at the watch. I got tired. That's perhaps a reason why I stopped. Eyes were closed finally and I almost slept. That's no meditation anymore I thought. Tomorrow I will put my clock behind me. Let's see how this will be.
Just to sit can be so incredible difficult. I was rather quite this evening. As soon as I sat on my cushion, emotions came up. Intensive emotions. It made me smile. That's why I sit. I want to have a quite place inside me, that is able to observe, no matter what happens. "It's a thought", I thought. It makes no sense to sit on the mat and to discuss with the bf that we need a new mattress.
More and more work piles on my desk. Today I'm still full of energy, yesterday I was done. I prefer challenging work than boring work, that's for sure. This and the next year I will have to go to my limits, that's for sure, too.
But now it is weekend. And here I find a lot of work on my desk, too. I have to tackle it. Best would be if I started this evening.
There is no life with pleassures only and this is also not desirable. To observe curiously what will happen is the attitude I will practice today again. No judging, only observing and being amused - about everything.
It was too much. It was simply too much. And no sense of achievement at all. All data I entered appeared wrong in the software or got lost. The routine work wasn't done in the evening due to the extra work. How does it look like, when I desperate? I tell everybody that it is too much for me. Not really smart. Tears appear, but I could hold them back. I think: I'm not made for a life as an employee, but I'm also not made for a life in independence. Finally I decided to leave work. I stopped at Karlsplatz Stacchus and had 2 glow wine there. That's how I live desperation.
I'm baked now. Baked from too much work.
I didn't go to the Mysore class, that would start at 8:15. I didn't like another challenge.
Now I'm at home. A day is over.
At least I get some money for all this. :) hahaha.
Up at 5 a.m. as usual. Writing, sitting. Sitting meditation became my oasis. Not to do anything, what a paradise. "Only to let go", only to be. Many thoughts today. I changed the seat 2 times. Nevertheless I know that to sit is good for me.
I will leave the house at 7, before 8 I will be at the company. As I have to accomplish a lot I plan to stay longer. Tomorrow is Friday and on Friday the employees leave the company rather early at 4 p.m. or 5 p.m.. It will be very difficult to stay very long tomorrow. So it will be today that I will work longer. As my back starts hurting again, I plan to work till 7 p.m and then I will go to a Mysore class at 8:15 p.m. I'm not sure if I will be able to do all this. I needn't to forget the breaks, but let me see what is doable today. I'm very much in the here and now at the moment (not so much daydreaming) and this is good. Life can only be lived now.
It was interesting to hear that P., who works as an accountant, too, has fears at work too. Fears to make a mistake. Our accounting rules and tax laws are too many and too complicated. That's it.
I feel ambition, I want do a good job and I want to stay. It's a challenge.
I was asked if I could come earlier to work due to a seminar and I accepted of course. There will be no time for yoga, perhaps I can do some suryas, but this will be all.
My colleagues are very supportive, that's wonderful. I had another intensive working day. I get ambitious again. These annual accounts must be doable. It will be incredible much work, but today I was looking forward to it. It's a challenge.
In the evening I met P.. We had so much to talk. She is a such a nice friend. I enjoyed it to be with her and to know her.
And now I have to go to bed. No yoga tomorrow, but of course sitting meditation.
I think I like my 20 min sitting meditation so much, because these are the only 20 min where I intentionally have to do nothing. It is supposed to let go of every thought of every feeling that comes up. Nothing cries for action. I only sit. These 20 min really became an escape from life as it is in general (action, action, action).
I let spread this feeling of "I have to do nothing, I can let go" over my yoga practice. The "I must" disappeared and it was substituted by "I want". I wanted and I did focus on upward facing dog. I tried to put my shoulders back and keep my feet stretched. I didn't omit an asana, not even janu sirsasana b and c. I cannot and I don't want to omit something in life, too. Everything is part of life also the not so pleasant events and feelings. Would I really want to miss something? I don't think so. Imagine, all people would know what sadness is, only I wouldn't have experienced it. No, that wouldn't please me either.
To observe and to accept what is, is a good attitude also for today. I will observe how I will handle stress and too much work. :)
What else: these damned Christmas calender - I gained 2 pounds. And: This evening I will meet P.. What a joy. We'll meet at a Christmas market downtown. Glow wine season is opened here.
And it was another intensive and long day. I got a lot of help from one of my colleagues. In the end of the day it became clear that I have to do all the work again. But I have started and this is what counts. I did what was possible for me. I fight, but I'm optimistic that I get better. Breath after breath I live. When I feel fear, when I feel overwhelmed before I have started with difficult tasks, I bring myself to the present moment. It helps at least for now. There are too many tax laws.
I'm alone at home now, what I enjoy. E. is playing soccer and this is good for him.
I made it out of bed on time and started my morning routine.
Sitting: I'm still not really happy with my seat. At first I sit with crossed legs, legs lie next to each others. Then I switch to lotus pose. But this is an interruption. I will try to start with lotus pose, holding this pose longer and longer till I can be in that pose for 20 min. Then I can focus better on what this exercise is - a mental exercise. A lot of thoughts came up, not always I was detached. But as fast as the thoughts come, as fast they go and the next mental movie starts.
Yoga: It started auspicious, but I got weak and weaker. The will to do this practice disappeared and my lazy "I" got stronger and stronger. Sloppy I went on after ushtrasana. Savasana was good again. When I finally laid on my right side I feared that I would stay there for the next hour.
What else: I want to hibernate in the company I work for. Ha. I will see all the things that happen as a spiritual exercise. It's really a chance to see how much energy I have, if I'm able to be detached, how concentrated I'm able to work. It's a possibility to be in the here and now. I meet people. So I will do today, what I did all the other days and what must be done: I will earn some money in order to survive.
I worked so much today. It was a very intensive day. When I want to survive this year, I have to get faster, I know this. I have to concentrate. But one task is finished and the next is coming. It's without and end. Nevertheless I feel somehow satisfied now and I have the feeling that I will be able to do what I have to. But this is also only a feeling and we all know - they come and go.
I enjoy my ginger tea now.
And then I have to work on my own accounting.
Will I have time for some yoga poses? I don't think so. But I will write the "reflexions of the day". That's for sure.
Meditation on a Monday morning: It was already warm in my little room and I sat on my soft cushion. 20 min meditation as usual: Thoughts and emotions will always be, I've read. The attitude towards it can be changed. Not to take thoughts/emotions too seriously is the goal. Not to take myself too seriously. (The "me" is only the ego, and we want to get rid of it, won't we?) Many thoughts came up this morning. Sometimes I was more attached, sometimes less.
Yoga: Here familiar thoughts came up, too: Will I ever progress? This thought I know already. Oh and how serious I take this thought, even though I should know it better. I progressed already. Slowly, very slowly, but I progress. There was no time for all the asanas today. My breath was deep and long and this needs time. My focus was to keep the feet stretched when doing upward facing dog. I lifted myself up into urdhva dhanurasana - 3 times. Wow.
I also remembered the workshop by BBB (Ms Bench). She asked us why we were doing yoga. She wanted us to ask: because we want to get to know ourselves. Now I ask myself the question again: Do I get to know myself while doing yoga? I'm disciplined, I do yoga every day, but I'm not at all disciplined in everything. I'm easily distracted. This I can observe in many areas of my life. I'm ambitious regarding my yoga, but I cannot say that I'm always ambitious. Generalisations never mirror the whole truth. My conclusion: when I observe myself doing yoga, I can get knowledge about myself how I am when I'm doing yoga. I see how I can be, but these behaviours, attitudes needn't to spoil or support my whole life.
Attitude for today: To observe what will happen and not to take it too seriously. In 5 years (perhaps already in 1 month) I won't remember this day anymore.
Sunday is over. I finished this Sunday with a few reflexions of the day (in writing) and a meditation session of 20 min.
My thoughts also circle around the next year and what I want to accomplish. To make it short: I want much more money and much less work. And this must be doable. Ha.
I want to be in bed on time, this is the preparation for a good practice tomorrow morning. And I need this yoga practice, work is so demanding. Yes, work is getting tough already. I have still ambition, but it's mixed with fear and pressure. That's not a good sign. Holy Spirit wants me to do something else, I think sometimes. But what? :) Holy Spirit makes me laugh. I must trust that a solution will come.
I got up at 5 a.m. wrote my morning pages, afterwards I meditated 20 min.
I felt somehow tired afterwards and so I went to bed again and slept till 9 a.m. or so.
Then it was difficult to start with my yoga practice. I read in some of my new books, but to start practicing was difficult. Finally I did it and I had an intensive practice.
Second series: Yesterday the teacher told me that it was the costum to do first series and half of the second series in a row, before one starts doing second series alone. I start understanding why. It is to build strength. After pincha mayurasana I'm so exhausted, that I scarcely can go on. Today I stopped again after this pose. I added urdhva dhanurasana, which was not bad, but far away from giving me a slightest chance to stand up from this position.
I should give this approach (1st series and half of 2nd series) a chance. Perhaps the body is so soft after the first series, so that the back bending is easier. I must give it a try - next weekend. It's astonishing how demanding second series is, even though there are not so many vinyasas.
My focus today was to stretch the feet when doing upward facing dog. And I paid attention that I used the bandhas in order to protect my lower back. This seems to be very important.
I wished I would have been better, but I must accept that progress comes slowly.
"I think the main objection to behaviorism is that people are in love with the mental apparatus. If you say that doesn't really exist, that it's a fiction and let's get back to the facts, then they have to give up their first love." B.F. Skinner. (The quote is found in the book "The Gurdjjeff Work" by Kathleen Riordan Speeth, page 56).
Most of our thinking is not seen as a limiting mostly accidental activity. We think we are what we think, it gives us identity. We overlook that our thinking can be our prison: Fears, likes, dislikes, thinking not being able to do something are good examples.
Next association is "meditation". Here I try to let go of the thoughts and that's why to meditate can be a helpful tool in freeing oneself.
We are all very much in love with our thinking, we are so proud of it, even though it is scarcely reflected. How to think - another huge topic.
Just a few thoughts, mostly read somewhere. But words can lead through the jungle of life.
I got so many inspirations and helpful feed-back: -In upward facing dog the feet are supposed to be stretched, i.e. . I obviously don't do this. B. already draw my attention to it. I thought I corrected it already, but this seems not to be the case. Advancing in the practice the hips are supposed to be away from the floor only a few inches. Then it is important that the pose is done correctly. -Bandhas are very important. Some yogis get lower back pain, because they do not use them when doing back bending like upward facing dog. -Virabadrasana A is a back bending pose. I can go so much more back than I did so far. -Sirsasana: I was recommended to hold it longer and longer till I'm up to 100 breaths. To lift up the head for 10 breaths is a good preparation for the head stands in the second series. -I was also shown how to jump back when in lotus pose. To accomplish this needs time, but it's a challenge for me.
The teacher is a tall and friendly man. It was a led class today, a very speedy one. Are men softer than women? The adjustments were helpful, more an indication where it shall go. I like both, hard and soft adjustments.
2 more woman exercised. They were both rather good. I don't want to hide that I was proud that I was the only student who was able to do garbha pindasana (arms stretched through legs in lotus pose, hands hold ears).
The conversation: Later I talked to one of the woman. It turned out to become a conversation about likes and dislikes. This made me smile. Since I have a good home practice, I'm much more content with classes. I always have the choice. When I do not like anything I can practice on my own. But being on my own gives me the same challenge: I'm confronted with anger, discontentment as well. This shows me that to blame others for the own feelings is a wrong interpretation and won't change anything. Especially events that makes oneself angry are the best opportunities to look into oneself and to practice independence. Here I think it starts that yoga becomes a mental practice. Here it starts getting really interesting.
Is it really a reason to get angry because super-ambitious people are practicing in the group? Is it really a reason to get angry because poses were omitted? Is it really a reason to get angry because the room is too cold?