Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Of Maha Sivaratri, Mudita and Inversions

I am not an intensely religious or spiritual person though I believe in "a higher being" and good actions reaping good results. Of course, theory is always easier than even Good Karma on some days is hard. Today is Maha Sivaratri - it is especially auspicious for married women to pray for the well being of their husbands and sons - so I fasted. I won't say it was hard or easy but I have spent the last 20 hours on no more than 2 hot cups of water with lemon and honey and a cup of tea. Remember that feeling you get when you aced a presentation, or completed an assignment well ahead of time - well, that is how I feel now. A little hungry but very grateful to be given this opportunity.

The mind has been restless the past few days - stuck in circular thoughts of no value. It is so easy in the Silicon Valley to develop silicon dreams - aspiring for more, never getting satisfied and never taking a moment to rest, relax and  enjoy...what I needed was to get back the stillness in my mind was a yoga class - I have only attended Nicole's yoga classes a couple times but always come back to ground the mind and acheive a sense of peace. She talked about Mudita today in class - an interesting proposition called "sympathetic joy" - the pleasure that comes from delighting in other people's well-being rather than begrudging it. The traditional paradigmatic example of this mind-state is the attitude of a parent observing a growing child's accomplishments and successes. Our society is an internally focused one - very individualistic, driven and success oriented - yet when you add in the layer of Mudita, there comes the sense of oneness, the joy in the success and happiness of others besides you.

I practised inversions today - anyone who knows me knows I absolutely detest inversions...the sense of being upside down - not in control is singularly unpleasant to me - I know inversions do miracles for the immune, respiratory and circulatory systems -- yet trusting one's body to the vagaries of gravity is as I said before unpleasant. Yet in the past couple practices I haven't been rolling up my mat and leaving the class when it is time for inversions but tried to practise and stretch myself a little bit more in that area...
This week is whizzing past fast and soon it will be next week, time for me to board a has your week been thus far?

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