You know when the last tumbler falls into place and you feel/hear the little ‘click’ of the lock that’s about to open? Or the proper arrangement of the puzzle piece as you place it in its right spot? There is this sense of ‘aha’ to the mystery of what’s been before you the whole time…
Prashant has been gathering us at the far corner of the practice hall to look at a magnificent tree in the courtyard just outside the window all week. He’s been using it as a metaphor, analogy, teaching tool. He’s been talking about rendering and seasoning in conjunction with it as well and I’ve been standing back letting it wash over me. Because I just cannot try to understand that man. Either he makes sense to you, or he doesn’t. For me, whether I understand or not changes with the day and the topic and how he ties the philosophy to the asana work. So my mode of operation in his class is to just let the commentary roll over and through me until the tumblers fall into place.
Which happened today… Click! i wasn’t getting the ‘seeaasson, seeaassonning, seeassonned (season – but say it like that and you’ll get the rhythm 🙂 that’s been a big theme for him the last few classes. It’s not far from the rendering idea, but deepens the lesson of it.
What finally made it click for me was his use of the imagery of seasoned wood used to make a door compared to unseasoned wood. In monsoon season, the unseasoned wood expands with the moisture and is difficult to close, in the dry season, there’s gaps that let bugs in because it shrinks. When seasoned wood is used, however, it always works properly because it is unaffected by the external forces. It is in a non-dual state! Ha! Tumble, tumble, Click!
And this we take back to the asana. The rendering effect the physical practice has on our consciousness, will over time, season us to a non-dual state if we do the work. Not to become disengaged or separated, but so that we work properly no matter what external forces, people, attitudes, climate we are exposed to.
India is filled with external forces that test how seasoned I am! The assault on the senses, the effort it takes to go anywhere or get anything done, the yoga we are expected to do… And then throw in the extra glitch, because there’s always an extra glitch in India! Illness, accidents, riots, floods, this year it’s a currency debacle that has everyone scrambling to try to get money – I’m going on my first scooter ride today to try to get some money today. Everyone that has been here before just went ‘Holy shit!’ Everyone else – you have no idea!! All these things prove that I’m still in the seeaassonniinnnnggg phase, because I am affected. Relatively I’ve got it easy here but I still don’t want to go to the bank to stand in the throng of people just to find out there’s ‘no money left, come back tomorrow’. I get tired waiting for my bill. I sneered at the lady who sat on my mat yesterday. Have i lost it? No. I’ve come a long ways since the first year when I stopped going to classes because I knew if I kept going I might never come back. I’ve matured since my second trip when the classes kicked my ass physically and I felt like a failure for most of the month. I’ve transformed since my 3rd trip which was the first after my separation and I was emotionally raw.
Each trip here, just like each time I step onto my mat, is a rendering. Sometimes the effect is a relatively swift awareness of acheivement – like doing an assisted drop back to Urdhva Dhanurasana today, sometimes it’s the slow steep that can only click the lock into place by trusting the process. Letting the effects of the work wash over and through me, render and season me, until…
Tumble, tumble, click.