mamculuna: (Default)
( Mar. 13th, 2009 07:42 pm)
Journey Home

The time that my journey takes is long and the way of it long.

I came out on the chariot of the first gleam of light, and pursued my
voyage through the wildernesses of worlds leaving my track on many a star and planet.

It is the most distant course that comes nearest to thyself,
and that training is the most intricate which leads to the utter simplicity of a tune.

The traveler has to knock at every alien door to come to his own,
and one has to wander through all the outer worlds to reach the innermost shrine at the end.

My eyes strayed far and wide before I shut them and said `Here art thou!'

The question and the cry `Oh, where?' melt into tears of a thousand
streams and deluge the world with the flood of the assurance `I am!'


Rabindranath Tagore

I usually see yoga as a sort of metaphor or guidebook for living, but this time I think of it the other way. Going to Guatemala was a big jump for me. I'd never traveled for that long completely alone, and never through somewhat sketchy parts of the world without a guide. In the days before I left, my anticipation felt a lot like an icy lining along my usually warm insides. The more people would tell me I was brave, the more frightened I felt. I could have changed my mind--the deposit and the ticket weren't much. Nobody would have thought differently of me for not going, but I knew that it was important to go--I needed to see that part of the world, needed to improve my Spanish, needed not to sit around the house and mope through another winter. But I was really afraid. What I did was just to set the plans in motion and let them pull me through. Occasionally I'd notice my fear, and try to focus on how it felt in mind and my body, to understand exactly what I feared and how fear carved its delicate sculptures inside me, but I kept going on with the plan.

So tonight it worked well that my yoga teacher used the fear and uncertainty of travel as a theme for a class focused on balance, my real nemesis in so many ways. Standing balances, even simple tree poses, are easy for me at home alone, but for some reason in class become ordeals. I fall out every few seconds. But I remembered my technique--just go on with the plan. I can't say that anyone watching would have been impressed, but I felt much more at ease with the whole situation. And when we moved on to pincha mayurasana, I felt the same way I had when I'd gone out on Lake Atitlan in the flimsy little boat, trusting in the plan. Both were like "coming out on the chariot of the first gleam of light."
mamculuna: (Default)
( Feb. 26th, 2009 01:57 pm)
So here's a sort of summary of my Guatemala diary. It's long--partly I'm writing for various people who may consider going. I'm also using it as a place to keep some links for myself to use in later trips.
Where I Went )
People and School )
Food and My Family )
Religion and Magic )
Lots more to say, especially about politics and wars past and present, but I doubt anyone can read more! But if you're going, let me know if you have questions.
.

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