Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Cynical Yoga Blogger in Exile


...trapped on the Mexican Riviera...dreaming of someday returning to the land of my birth as, forlorn, I wander la playa, toes licked by the cooling waters of the Caribbean...thinking about getting some more of those enchiladas de mole and perhaps a margarita for lunch...but meager consolation in the sad life of an exile...ever longing for a home country that remains out of reach...un hombre sin pais...identificacion perdido...tears water my keyboard as I peer out the window of my thatch-roofed cabana at the pellucid blue waves and swaying palm trees...okay, admittedly, as exiles go, I’m not exactly Solzhenitsyn...

...nonetheless, a week ago today, my passport disappeared somewhere between customs and the Coconut Bar at the Cancun airport...necessitating a series of $95 each way cab rides between Tulum and Cancun and a Kafkaesque obstacle course of desks, forms, and fees...and that was just the first of two necessary visits to the open-on-occasion U.S. consulate in Cancun...in the end, realizing there was no way to fulfill the goals of my yoga retreat and still be allowed back into the country of my birth on schedule...like, I should be home, now, and yet that Caribbean wind keeps blowing through my window and my shaggy sun-bleached hair...

...as you might imagine, this did at first have a bit of a negative effect on my quest for inner peace and self-realization...but not, in the long run, much of one...in fact, like the ear infection I had last year, I think it might’ve been useful, in a roundabout sense...the angst it brought up keeping me out of la-la land...at least enough to allow for a certain continuity...to where daily life flows in and out instead of being escaped from...

...listen, everybody loves orgasms...orgasms are great...the more the better...but the fact is that they don’t last very long and most of the time...for the vast, vast majority of moments in your life...you’re simply not having one...and a yoga retreat, anyway, is not an orgasm...

...guess that’s obvious...but, anyway, the point is shouldn’t be one...though, yeah, if you offered me a week long orgasm in Mexico, I’d certainly take it...

...the point, though, is continuity, and applicability...am I just getting blissed out and then going home to the same old shit or am I in some way going forward?...is personal transformation happening in any meaningful sense or is it more like Bruce Banner turning into the Hulk and then going right back to being Bruce Banner...except his clothes are all ripped up...except the part of his pants around the crotch...even though pants are generally tightest around the belt, and, when they get too tight, the button at the waist’s the first thing that goes, somehow the Hulk’s privates always remaining private?

...this is a terrible analogy...and I’ve lost it, anyway....I’m talking about the distinction between coming here and being mellow and hugging everybody and sharing my deepest inner torments and listening with interest and compassion to everybody else’s inner torments and generally being blissed out and then going home and being as depressed and anxious and indecisive as before, and doing all that shit and then actually having it carry over in some way...which is not to say it didn’t at all last time, but there was a pretty big chasm in between...ultimately, Mellow, Centered Tropical Yoga Retreat Dr. Jay needs to be accessible even when not on a yoga retreat, or he’s really not worth much...

12 comments:

Amanda said...

I quite like the Bruce Banner analogy - and I can absolutely relate.

The first time I did a 5 day Vipassana retreat and I drove back out onto the main highway to go home, it seemed like the world was crazy and I was the only sane person in it.

And this is the challenge: how to integrate the lessons of the retreat/yoga mat into daily life.

AND THIS: the equally difficult position of needing to acknowledge that there are times when we need to find time to withdraw and immerse ourselves in radical otherness in order to really touch our own inner truths. Then, to face the knowing that we must go back to ordinary reality, apparently unchanged, wearing our rags.

A wonderful post - although the passport stuff gives me a headache just reading about it!

Aggie said...

Well it certainly sounds like a blissful place to wallow in your misery ... if you must. Pity about the stressful start, but sounds like you moved on quickly. I can't say that playing "touchy feely" with a group of strangers would momentously alter my life for the better ... still a change is as good as a rest and I'd take a trek to the caribbean for that reason alone. You can only escape reality for so long though!

earthtoholly said...

Wind blowing your "shaggy sun-bleached hair" huh? Holy smokes drjay! Ahem, moving on...

So, it sounds like the passport fiasco is tempered somewhat by your tropical surroundings. Okay, can't feel too bad for ya, then.

Now, if you come back too warm and fuzzy we may have to send ya back and tell your Yogi to put you back the way you were!

Lana Gramlich said...

If you're "blissed out" all the time, how can you possibly grow any further, y'know? Perfect balance = perfect stagnation. Still, sorry about the passport hassle. I hope things outside of that were wonderful for you.
Welcome back.

The Clandestine Samurai said...

Well, you know, what you've said is correct, but the character was meant for teenage and young adult stories. Surely you don't suggest he walk around with his penis out?

The Clandestine Samurai said...

But anyway, I guess the only way Frida would be able to see if there's has been change is to go back and look at the life she's trying to resume with her new eyes, and she if she feels the same way about everything.

svasti said...

Milk it baby, milk it!

Geez, talk about making it hard to have sympathy for you, stuck as you are in paradise. Hmmm, wish I had that problem!

I wonder if you'll ever get to meet your doppelganger, now, out there somewhere, wandering around... a Mexican Dr Jay S.W.

And I wonder if he writes a blog too?? ;)

Okay, lack of sympathy for your predicament aside, I do get the issues with integration.

In fact, its one of my Guru's most common requests to his students. You must learn to integrate! What use is any of this if you can't take it off the mat/cushion and into your every day life?

Of course, there is some good. Its just better if you don't feel like you've got two distinct personalities inhabiting the one body.

So... there's understanding to be brought to the surface, and balance to be created. After all, you can't be Mellow, Centered Tropical Yoga Retreat Dr. Jay all the time anyway. Even if you do find the balance point.

There's a time and a place for everything. Even losing one's passport.

Have another enchilada de mole (yum yum!) for me. :)

P.S. I always noticed that too, about the Hulk and his clothing and his privates. Ahem.

Yoga music said...

I like your blog. Especially, becuase of your descriptions: "the kind of doctor who, in case of emergency, can explain Faulkner while you die". Wow.

Delighted Scribbler said...

I wouldn't mind being exiled to the Caribbean! Even with the drama. Well, wait, I could probably do without the hurricanes.

So now that you're home, do you feel transformed or are you just standing around in shredded pants wondering what gives?

berenice said...

ah Dr. J, so sad you had to go thru all that!

i feel is there's any lesson to learn, is that sometimes we do search for peaceful places or events to find the peace within, and it seems that things do NOT work that way... maybe destiny was trying to 'teach' you that lesson? dunno... but i feel it should NOT matter the place or time we are at, we have to learn to fight obstacles no matter where or when, sometimes we think 'cause it's a foreign country all's going to be better, or the other way around, but then life comes around and changes everything, right?

lucky we are when we can find beauty on the unexpected, but to acquire that eye is the tricky part

too bad you had bad experiences in Mexico, you know? i am Mexican, but if it comforts you, many times in the US i have had this sort of experience myself! since i was foreigner here :)

good luck and take a deep breath, hello! heh heh

giardigno65 said...

and if I become green?

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