2.0
April 7, 2010

Who the Hell You Callin’ Spiritual?!

…been trying to be more ayurvedic…or something…in my sleep habits…more Ben Franklin, at least…early to bed, early to rise…all that…though a staffing crisis at the rehab where I tutor reading and writing on Tuesday nights led to their asking if I’d have any interest in taking some late night RA shifts…in charge, for the most part, of people who are asleep…pushing the envelope of even the most caffeinated yogi by brewing a pot of coffee at 11:00 PM…then spending the night reading…savoring the irony of listening to Amy Winehouse in such a setting…and writing this…

…read a post at Laura’s blog about awareness…left a comment to the effect that it probably said something about my (lack of) awareness that I’d just then realized the blog in question was sub-titled Creativity Is a Spiritual Practice when all this time I’d been reading it as Creativity As a Spiritual Practice….as it turned out, Laura recently changed the name…so, for noticing it first, she awarded me the beautiful tree-doing-vrkasana (tree pose) photo above, writing, all-too-kindly…strong of heart and mind, grounded, with deep spiritual awareness (whether you like to admit that or not). You remind me of this tree

…thing is I’m not at all sure what spiritual means…though pretty confident I don’t want anything to do with the more popular definitions…neither that old time religion nor the new age….don’t get me started…

When one loses the deep intimate relationship with nature then temples, mosques and churches become important.
J. Krishnamurti

Remember, the only time Christ ever got angry was when he went to church.
Father Thomas Doyle

…recently, though, used the word once or twice when no other seemed to fit…not, actually, to describe my near-fanatical yoga practice…nor meditation…nor sitting watching the sun set, legs hanging down over the north rim of the Grand Canyon, listening to Coltrane’s Love Supreme through headphones….not to say those aren’t all really good…

…actually, tongue loosened by a half pitcher of margaritas, was talking about some of the work I’ve been doing…teaching creative writing to homeless men…not long ago, college English for maximum security prisoners, and working with them to start a sadly-now-defunct on-line magazine…as well as tutoring women in recovery, most of whom have been in prison, too…labeled incest survivors, crack whores and unfit mothers…dispossessed…despised…

….basically, if you think about the worst case scenario for your life…the kind of shit that scares you so much you won’t be able to sleep or do much else if you think about it too much…people and things you count on tumbling like dominoes…comfort, security, any sense of worth or belonging turning to a handful of dust along with faith and hope and any attempt at maintaining a positive attitude…leaving a misery and emptiness you’d rather die a thousand times than have to face….they’ve already been there…and now are working on finding a way back….and generally speaking, I’d rather hang with people like that than some officially holy type who talks humility while eating off a golden platter…

…sure, to work with these folks involves empathy…compassion…all that lovely yogic shit…but it also helps to have a dark sense of humor…see the sublime cosmic absurdity in all of it…and to see no conflict between the two…

 

 

*cross posted at Yoga for Cynics*

 

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