Lotus Sunday

Still Sundays

May 6, 2012.

The moon rode into Earthtown last night. I could hear its supersteps around midnight.

How wide are your shoulders, Time?

New York City is a funny bone of time zones. Usually when we are awake here the West Coast is still asleep and over the Atlantic people are ending the day. How many more ways can I be in between worlds?

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I finally finished a fiction short story yesterday. It is 700 words over the submission guidelines but other than that it is finished. I could make it into two different stories I suppose: keep one for myself and the other one for submission. Or I could diligently sandpaper it down to 1000 words and still not lose the story. But this will take more time and I have already spent two months on this specific story. Nonetheless, it is a finished piece. Learning the craft and then unlearning it so the most authentic voice that is needed to tell the story is honored has taken some time indeed. One year to be precise. I am happy with it and regardless of the outcome I will eventually share it here soon enough. I am grateful for your patience and support.

 

It is challenging to create time to write on Sundays when I am drained from working on fiction the day before. But I write on Sundays for similar reasons I practice yoga despite a very busy schedule: to swim in two worlds.  Both equally real and significant. They require different muscles and muscles are developed through practice only.

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This Sunday I woke up at 6:00 a.m. with the following thought clinking inside my bones: some Sundays you are a buddha and the other sundays you are the lotus held by some buddha.

I am sure somewhere there is an authority that says both are one and the same and that is the point.

The spore of this thought came from Chuck Miller’s yoga workshop last weekend when he narrated the story about Buddha holding a lotus flower to teach his followers a lesson without saying a single word. You can’t take pliers and make the lotus open up and bloom without destroying all of it; if you do then you have to go back and start all over.  Yes, you must work hard, correct misalignments as bumps arise, but you also must trust the process.

This Sunday began by attending Marco Rojas’ two-hour yoga class in the downtown ISHTA Studio. It was quite a trek for a Sunday morning from my home all the way uptown.

It was a great class as is expected. When you ask Marco Rojas how does he feel about knowing that his regular students have an expectation of some sort he politely answers the expectation you have is from yourself.  And it’s true. We walk in there every time with the expectation to go deeper each time and learn something new through a dialogue with our joints, ligaments, bones, muscles, mind, breath…

It took much heated preparation to eventually get the body ready for padma asana. The lotus pose! It’s always a surprise what happens during Marco’s classes and today was no different. I had just woken up thinking about this flower.  When you look at images of the padma asana posture the folded legs appear to be effortlessly placed one on top of another. But easy is far from it. And bending forwards and backwards in this pose demands an immense rising above and beyond.  “Though rooted in the mud, the lotus blossom rises above to blossom in the sun. Although it grows in pools of water the leaves of the lotus always remain dry.”

 

Marco had begun the practice by inquiring: “If you are a divine being—which we all are since we all have divinity within—what do you want to make happen?”

I began the class thinking: good grief what responsibility!

I rolled out of the lotus pose feeling: moving forward is divine.

The biggest misconception we have is that light must illuminate darkness. That light must coddle darkness and save those in it. No. Light follows light. Light ignites light. Light expands forward.  Light just is.

 

Jackson Square Park, Greenwich Village, New York City.

8 thoughts on “Lotus Sunday

  1. Really beautiful Annie! You are quite literally stretching your limits :) and congratulations on your finished writing – that is a feat indeed! Letting go of a piece of writing is the hardest part, as it’s so easy to just keep editing, re-editing, re-drafting, re-outlining and never let it go. So well done girl! You did the hardest part!

  2. Yes, big cheers for finishing your story! I wait eagerly for its light–your light–to “ignite light” and “expand forward” so it can be read and felt and long remembered. Your stories are such a welcome event.

    As are your portraits of light and shadow. Thanks for sharing the photo of the fountain.

    I just started a book by Thomas Matus on yoga and hesychasm and on finding one’s way in converging traditions. He writes:

    I cast the anchor of my life down, and I let its line run deep into the unfathomable God on whose bosom I float. In this situation, two certitudes reassure me: the one, that it is not madness to be afloat in God, and the other, that I am not alone on this sea.

    Despite his nautical imagery, all I can see are lotuses after reading your piece! And it feels very fitting — in harmony with this book’s exploration of Hindu and Buddhist yoga, Eastern Christian meditation, and experiencing the blazing Light in this very life.

    thank, as always,
    ~lucy

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