Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Losing Your Head

So...in Yoga there’s something called a sun salutation...or surya namaskar, if ya wanna get all sanskrity about it...which is a series of postures...or asanas...done in sequence in a flowing kinda motion, in tune with the breath...though what those postures are can vary...actually, they can involve all kindsa stuff...though there tend to be a couple of basic parts, at least one or two of which involve kinda looking upwards...y’know, at the sun...and saluting it, kinda...if ya happen to be outside...and it happens to be sunny....

okay, I don’t know what the hell a sun salutation is, though I’ve done thousands of ‘em...including approximately a hundred and eight at a time once, down in Mexico...somehow ending up singing the first verse of a Bruce Springsteen song in the middle of it....it’s a long story...but, see, not knowing even while doing kinda goes back to that whole feeling-oneself-from-the-inside thing that got so badly sidetracked a couple posts ago...kinda like Fantastic Voyage...that book by Isaac Asimov...where this submarine and its crew are shrunk down to where they can float through the internal passageways of somebody’s body...except without the submarine...and it's your own body...am I making sense, now? Didn’t think so....

What is meditation? You don’t know. And that is the basis on which to meditate....“I don’t know.” Do you understand the beauty of that? It means that my mind is stripped of all technique, of all information about meditation, of everything others have said about it.
J. Krishnamurti

When the logic and proportion
have fallen sloppy dead
and the White Knight is talking backwards,
and the Red Queen’s “off with her head!”...
Grace Slick

So, anyway, we were doing sun salutations last night and my teacher suggested that, in the forward bend following that big upward motion described so badly above, the thing to do is to let go of the head completely, just let it drop...which was cool....since, if there’s one thing I don’t do enough of, it’s losing my head...

...not that I’d wanna be without it permanently, mind you....it does have its uses, but it keeps awfully busy...too busy...never stopping, always charging...not forward but in endless serpentine pathways, crashing into its own walls, falling off its own cliffs...struggling up its own mountains, molehills, and mausoleums...as often as not ending up where it began...only more tired and confused....

might be good if I could put it in a box, or have it served on a plate like John the Baptist, or play beach volleyball with it....

maybe that’s what I’ll do next time I’m in Mexico...

or maybe not....

16 comments:

Me-Me King said...

Mexico? Did you say Mexico?Pobrecito, Grover, tu cabeza.

human being said...

gosh... talk about vibrations... i was struggling up one of those endless serpentine pathways you described so beautifully when the title of your new post caught my eye in my Reader...
click... read it in one breath... you're a deep observer and a good painter of what you feel and experience... no doubt about it...

just that was what i needed... sun salutation... and that superb feeling when you let go of the head....
thanks pal a ton...

Aggie said...

Hmm, Grace Slick takes me back. It must be fun living in a confuzzled mind like yours ... worthy of a head kick around footie match.

Christine Vyrnon said...

mmm.
What I like about letting go of my head, especially in a forward fold, is the way the rest of the spine follows suit. The sensation in the neck and upper back is quite pleasant. But that's me being literal at 2am.

And I also very much like the "i don't know" approach ... very much.

Seeing Eye Chick said...

Sounds like your brain is always on. When mine does this {keep in mind its not yoga} I lie down and I focus my consciousness on my toes and tell each muscle to relax as I travel back up to my head. Granted its not truly meditation either but I usually fall asleep before I get past my heart. Its helps my brain focus on something other than its endless thoughts and machinations. It stops a continuous reel of instant replay.

Good News, we might have found a Yoga Instructor near my house. Keep your fingers crossed.

This Brazen Teacher said...

Crap! Do you know that my next post has a Krishnamurti quote in it? Now if I post it- I'm going to look like a copier even more...

Damn you for being so cool like me...

;-)

Wandering Jay said...

Your yogaish blog humor brings out the cynic in me; this, of course, trigger a chain of events that pretty soon i will discover and uncover the real beauty and meaning of meditating.

Lazy Third Eye said...

Hats off to you for writing the first blog post I've seen that mentions Grace Slick. Boy, I wish all bloggers were at least...such and such an age. Preferably old enough to appreciate Grace without all that Starshippyness.

Matt

SupaChumScrubber frum stumble said...

iz that pictchyur up theyre frum that bands album cuvver?

roadgurl5 said...

"...never stopping, always charging...not forward but in endless serpentine pathways,..." Yet you continue churning out interesting and thoughtful posts! Your mental turmoil serves your readers well. My mind works in a similarly confused manner although with much lighter fare...Lucy, what's for dinner, rabid cats (don't ask)...

btw, I loved Fantastic Voyage!

Miss D said...

Hey neighbor! Yup, it's Bucks County, Pa. I only read this one blog entry, and I gotta say, man, you sound like a poet!! I loved reading your words, and will definitely stop back again!

Till next time! :)

Ian France said...

Ha! Great stuff... never heard of the word sanskritty before... but funny!

Melinda said...

When I first started meditating, I felt like an imposter. I couldn't clear my head--and I thought everyone in the group were experts (but me!). I stopped taking myself so seriously and finally just started trying to reach a state of calm, by concentrating on my breathing. I am still no expert but I know I feel so much better when I meditate daily. Your humor does really crack me up--I wish you'd been in my first meditation group. I know we would have become BFF's.

Cheers,

Melinda

svasti said...

Hello m'dear, the words are starting to solidify finally although its still easier to comment on other people's stuff than write my own...

A little yoga info - there's both Surya namaskar (sun salutations) and Chandra namaskar (moon salutations). Traditionally each move in the salutation is performed with a mantra. Like much in the world of yoga, there are numerous related meanings. But essentially sun and moon are associated to Ida and Pingala nadis - the two channels that run along Sushumna Nadi (central channel). Without getting too technical... let's just say that both Surya & Chandra namaskar are meant to be used to purify the side channels... to help kundalini eventually make its ascent through Sushumna.

There's other benefits too, ofcourse. Surya is meant to be performed in the morning and Chandra in the evenings (altho it doesn't always roll that way in yoga class). Surya is great for young boys as they come into puberty, and Chandra is likewise great for young girls... and so on...

Performing 108 Suryas is good! Could ya move the next day?

I really have to go back and read your post on feeling yourself again... but I do know what you mean.

In the path I study there is both form and no-form meditation. Its much easier for most people to start with form, or structured meditation because often when you think you're doing formless meditation, you're not.

You're right Jay, there are plenty of delusions in the mind and part of the practice of meditation is to uncover those delusions. Strip away another layer and another... how do we know when we're finished? Perhaps we don't. At least not from our current position of delusion and ignorance (I'm talking about all people, not just you or me or...y'know...)

Sounds like a good instruction you received - to let go of the head. Works on so many levels, too.

Hey are you copying me? I'm sure I used the word 'serpentine' first on my blog! ;)

Okay, gotta go now... must go walking (now the rain's stopped), find breakfast 'n' stuff. More soon - I said I'd write a post on this stuff at some point. Anyways, there'll be more in our epic conversation for sure...

Mark said...

Not very yogic, but I find the stuff David Allen talks about in Ready for Anything, which gets at all the ideas behind the nuts and bolts of Getting things Done. What has this to do with anything? Well, I'm still working on it, but the idea is that you get to the point with all your stuff that you can let go when the time comes to do so. Course, the letting go without all the yoga stuff is still hard. I need both sides of this equation.

Grumpus said...

"I don't know" are the words I try to live by; i think it is as honest and humble a philosophy as any.