Thursday, March 4, 2010

Yoga, Surfing, and Pot (El Yogi Cynico en Costa Rica Parte Tres)


If dogs run free, why not we, across the swamp of time?
Bob Dylan

...ubiquitous surfboards, dreadlocks, thongs, and tattoos...far more yoga teachers and artists than cops, doctors, or clergy...as many bikes as cars...t-shirt shops full of flagrant, fragrant smoke...Argentines, Israelis, and Americans intermingling with the almost invariably warm and friendly locals...a mellow postmodern trinity of, as my friend put it, yoga, surfing, and pot...


...of which, it should be mentioned, I indulged only in the first...along with so many of those less-than-$1 empanadas at the tiny bakeries...carne, pollo, frijole, queso...Bimbo chocolate cookies, and as much fresh tropical fruit as a body can safely digest....one thing about Latin America in general: you don’t go there to lose weight...and the crummiest little convenience store can be counted on for a produce section to make the northern jaw drop....and that’s not even mentioning that this is the culture that gave the world hot pants...


...they got the fun, they got the palm trees,
they got the weed, they got the taxis...

Joe Strummer, Safe European Home

...it’s always important, I think, for Americans proud of living simply out of their backpacks to remember that they’re probably sinking more money into their week-long vacations than most of the locals see in a year...and yet, Costa Rica can make one feel a bit less the great white imperialist...seeing little of the overwhelming poverty, trash, and heavily armed cops and soldiers impossible to avoid in much of the region...which, actually, has something to do with the country going without a standing army for more than half a century....relative prosperity deriving, to a significant extent, from putting funds that might otherwise go toward the military into education...


...that said, gotta confess to having made an attitude of semi-blissful semi-oblivion toward world events an essential aspect of my retreat....got on-line once early in the trip to give family members contact info in case of emergency, and then again in the bed and breakfast near the airport the night before flying home to clear junk accumulations from in-boxes, but that was it....and, except for stray bits picked up here and there...like last week’s snow in Philly we all hoped would delay our flights home...heard and saw nothing about the world beyond our beach...realizing when I got home that I hadn’t so much as thought about Tea Partiers, Sarah Palin, or the health care debate in over a week...and, with that, finding myself quite reticent about getting re-informed...spending far less time on-line now than before the trip...even if that’s meant unconscionably neglecting many of my blog friends, along with the news....sorry...I’ll be back...


...have always believed in keeping informed...taking part...little interest in being the kinda yogi who holds up non-attachment to justify non-engagement or the greater scheme of things as an excuse for apathy...but there comes a point when engaging with the wide world out there...particularly when doing so by surfing the interwebs ’til the early hours of the morn...becomes simply a mode of escape from the world nearer-by...and, perhaps most of all, just another of the infinite futile ways of trying to push away the vast universe inside...


...and sometimes, it seems, ya hafta go somewhere far away to see what’s really goin’ on with ya back home...
Ancient and Revered Yoga Cynic Sutra 12:291



13 comments:

Bob Weisenberg said...

Still another beautiful, evocative, sensitive, insightful post. I think you've got everyone here waiting with baited breath for the next installment.

(A few more of these jewels and you'll be forced to give up your Yoga for Cynics front for good.)

Bob Weisenberg
YogaDemystified.com

earthtoholly said...

More beautiful pics, drjay...and hey! I think I may've seen that pooch in a previous pic...

Sounds like you had a totally relaxing time and didn't miss any of us online crazies a bit. That's good. I've been having some issues myself with too much time in the virtual world. Add bad time management and a teensy bit o obsessiveness and yer lookin at a real mess. Aaargh. Okay, rambling again...

Did I say it's nice to have you back?

Eco Yogini said...

i totally hear you on the whole escapism via web and big issues.
such a balance.

wow and those FRUIT!!! On a truck. awesome.

the walking man said...

I am thinking maybe I should disconnect for a bit from the Palin/Tea/Snow for a bit and just run in the waves. But if I do then I may allow the hole where the plug goes to get full of dust and never be able to get a solid connection again.

Mandy said...

So beautiful, have my eyes on ticket prices now!

distracted by shiny objects said...

As I get older the non-attachment stuff seems more viable and starts oozing into my life. I've seen the Tea Party before--different names. Think it's a sideshow to keep the masses riled up.
Enjoy your unpluggedness, and hopefully you can teach the rest of us the secret of balance!! :>)

Brooks Hall said...

Thanks, Dr. Jay! It's so great to hear about and see pictures from your trip.

RB said...

It's interesting that you say you've come back and been less compelled to go online. It's wonderful to see which habits are the easiest to let go off. Now is the time to closely observe the non-internet time, and through observance, thing about how to nurture and grow the new parts of yourself/habits/explorations.

Aggie said...

Lovely fotes and looks like a great escape. I'm sure Alice in Wonderland couldn't supply better escapism.

Karin Bartimole said...

I can really relate to what you're saying Dr Jay. It's been a while since I've fully engaged in the "news' of the day. I just can't care the way I did, say pre election. Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck - they don't make it into my range of thinking at all any more, unless I run across them somewhere like, well, here! I still sign a few petitions here ant there, as they enter my email, but I'm not seeking things out. Granted, cancer stops you in your tracks and causes one to refocus, but my refocus started before my diagnosis. I just stopped feeling guilty about it once I got cancer! So, I figure what I need to be informed about will enter my info input range, what I don't, won't. It's a lot less stressful!

Love your photos, and hope you have a care free day - enjoying this spring like weather we're finally having :)

Lana Gramlich said...

I LOVE the lizard! How cool!

laughingyogini said...

Love the photos -last one in particular.

Yeah, Bob's right, not sounding too cynical here. I call it a drawing in of your energy, an important tool for yogis. Maybe it's a form of pratyhara for our multitasking, 24/7 news, social-media-driven culture.

berenice said...

Dr. Jay, your photos are fantastic
and i so happy you got acquainted with Bimbo bakery, they are to blame for all the pounds i gain in Mexico, not your healthy whole grains, huh? and yes, even if i live in Southern California, fruits and vegetables are much more accessible in the South of anywhere

when i go back to Mexico to visit my family, at least once a year, i disconnect too from worldly events, well, at least US worldly events, sure we have Tea Parties there too (Tequila parties i guess) and our dose of nefarious mexican Saras Palines, only they are named Guadalupe Salinas or something similar, yet there's something really refreshing about those not being 'your' daily problems, but theirs... thank God for traveling! the true recharging of objectivity of one's soul, and the only way we can come back home with an slightly more opened mind, a stretched soul, and sort of laughing at our own daily disgraces and we realize are so little compared to the immensity of this round world... glad you went far and even better, that you came back safe!