July 21, 2011

A Kick In The Butt: When You Don’t Feel Like Practicing

See this article in Spanish here.

A few days ago I was not ‘feeling it’: The practice.

You know what I mean: Too early. Don’t want to. Let me do what the body wants. Bukowski out of all people came to the rescue, and it was his poem (interspersed here) that got me through primary series:

If you’re going to try, go all the way.
Otherwise, don’t even start.
It could mean not eating for three or four days.
It could mean freezing on a park bench. It could mean jail. It could mean derision.
It could mean mockery–isolation. Isolation is the gift.

It is Wednesday morning and I find myself in a fascinating literary spot in New York City. I am surrounded by cartoons of the New Yorker all over the hallway. In the wall paper. The lobby presents me with pictures of incredible writers among the potted palm trees. Long chandeliers make me think of Mark Twain. Who wants to get on the mat?

All the others are a test of your endurance, of how much you really want to do it.

Too Early

That:‘too early’, is, of course, just a marketing line. A chosen deliminator in our thinking that now defines what we think we are. Until we notice it and go pass it, there is always: Afternoon practice.

And, you’ll do it, despite rejection and the worst odds.

Don’t Want To:

We can compromise. Give up the practice if you must, but not the ritual.

Pull up your hair, get in the sweating clothes and stand on the front of the mat. Take that first ujjayi breath, balance the weight over the four corners of the feet, engage the bandhas and start that first sun salutation. Go to where you can. Never give up the ritual. See what happens.

And it will be better than anything else you can imagine.

Want To Do What My Body Wants:

Paul Dallaghan’s philosophy is so powerful I have made it my own: “if it ain’t broken and you don’t have a fever, then get on the mat”. The point is that it is a daily practice for a reason. It works only if sustained for a long time and we have to get real. If it ain’t broken and you don’t have a fever, then get on the mat.

If you’re going to try, go all the way.
There is no other feeling like that.

In Conclusion:

1) Try afternoon if morning does not work
2) Never give up the ritual: get on the mat and do what you can
3) If it ain’t broken and no fever, do it!

You will be alone with the gods, and the nights will flame with fire.
You will ride life straight to perfect laughter. It’s the only good fight there is.

I find intriguing that Bukowski uses the same concept as Patanjali for the end-goal. You will be “alone with the gods”. Patanjali could not have said it better himself.

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