Mountains and me.

I have always been surrounded by mountains, well, coming from a place like Chile is actually very hard to not be close to one. I always remember that amazing feeling of seeing the Andes after a day of rain in Santiago. In that monster-city that Santiago is, we had only some days a year, maybe only some hours a year, the opportunity to smell the rain in the fresh air and find a ray of light behind the trees, to only realize that the amazing Cordillera was there, in her splendor, shining, huge, like witnessing all our movements from the heights. It was just perfect! Words are not enough when comes to nature.

Here, in Chamonix, I REALLY am surrounded by mountains. They are a little bit different from the Andes though: they are closer and are, at the same time, smaller (objectively) but bigger (from where I am standing perspective), the Alps are sharp mountains, the Andes are more soft. I find the Alps very masculine, the Andes are more feminine (this is a VERY personal thing I guess). There might be many other differences and I am sure that a lot of people around me might know more about this subject but, there is something that doesn’t change and is this feeling that I get when I´m staring at the mountains: I simply become quite. Their beauty, majesty and every-day-changing presence touches my heart deeply and I just love it. I feel extremely grateful for this.

I still don´t get the urge to go up the mountains to explore and conquer them. Maybe in the future, who knows.

Meanwhile I will continue enjoying seeing the majesty of nature, enjoying the quietness of my astonished heart.

All of this is because I wanted to say that I feel that I, in my heart, understand what Kōdo Sawaki, zen master (Taisen Deshimaru´s master), is talking about:

Look! Nature is sublime. I understand the problems people have, yet I have never met somebody worthy of my admiration or submission. But the Takagamine Mountain is always looking down on me saying: Kōdo, Kōdo…

Those are beautiful last words, don´t you think?

Not conquering the mountain. We took a lift to this place. Photo by the amazing Daniel Rönnback.
Not conquering the mountain. We took a lift to this place. Photo by the amazing Daniel Rönnback.
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Beginner.

Stay Open. Photo by Daniel Rönnback.
Stay Open. Photo by Daniel Rönnback. 2014, Chamonix Mont-Blanc, France.

One of the things I love about yogasana practice is what mister Iyengar clearly says: “I know the postures from yesterday but today I become a beginner.”

This is a huge challenge.

I like to think that what happens on my yoga mat is a reflex of the things that are happening outside of it. I feel it on the good things and also when a challenge appears.

The challenge of feeling like a beginner is important for me.

What I´ve learn through my yogasana practice is that, everyday I am dealing with a new version of myself. Everything changes constantly and if I forget about it, stagnates my practice immediately.

I love those days when I feel clean, fresh and new not only after the practice but before.

Those days when I am open to the adventure that I can see ahead of me and when, even though I know how to begin, I never know how it will end.

I love when I feel like I am open to find new ways to approach to the “problems” that the practice puts in front of me and that, instead of taking the regular way, I allow my self to experiment and create new points of view. I love when I feel creative. Makes me feel that I am growing.

One of the goals of the yoga practice is to go beyond our egos and, even though I am crushing with my ego constantly, I like to think that, when I feel inspire and creative I am going further in my experience of myself re defining my own limits because, rather than undergo regular mental processes -that do nothing but to strengthen the ego- I can find a new way of dealing with myself, my “problems” and my experience.

It´s beautiful because keeps me humble in front of the beauty and it´s not only my mind that opens, it is my body and my heart also.

My hip or, A way to deal with ignorance.

Kleshas

Yoga practice helps you to rediscover the forgotten link between your mind and body and this, under my experience, always modify the way you see illness and health, pleasure and pain.

When I started my practice, I remember how surprised I was when I heard my teacher saying: If you feel pain, observe it, don´t run away, try to see why that pain appeared in this moment.

During the lasts months I have been feeling some pain in my left hip: it´s a pain that comes and goes, that change and that, sometimes makes me feel angry but, other times, makes me feel compassion for myself.

There are some days where the pain moves me closer to the practice. I know that, after practice I will feel better: the pain diminishes or disappears completely. But, other days, the pain takes me away from the practice because my thinking process is something like: Ok, this pain is the result of my ignorance. There´s something that I´ve been doing wrong all this years so, if I continue practicing there´s a chance for the injury to get bigger.

During those days it´s really difficult to get and sit on my mat without an anger feeling inside me.

But then, the question is:  

Where do you find more ignorance?

Try to do something you love, even if there´s more than once chance that you´re not understanding everything of it?

Or, not do it at all, just because you´re afraid?

Patañjali (II.3) shows us Avidya as the first cause of suffering (kleshas).

When I think about it, my concept of ignorance talks about not-knowing something; ignorance has to be with inexperience.

I think this is an important concept.

It´s impossible to be able to understand something or to feel experienced in a subject since the first moment. And this is really hard to handle for the ego because there´s an awesome sensation when you feel that you´re good at something.

But, being lost, being confused and wrong, feeling inexperienced it´s part of the way, if you want to be able to feel the opposite. In this case, my pain is telling me that there´s something that I need to change; I need to revalue my practice. I have a lot of interpretations for it but, it´s more important to me, to be able to continue my practice more than ever because, when your ego is telling that you don´t need it (and my ego it´s telling me that when I´m angry) probably, it´s when you need it the most.

I´ve have experienced more than once how concepts that at first glance seem opposites, always meet somewhere. I already wrote about the feeling of being a beginner and I did the question if the fool is a fool after all… When you´re empty you´re full of space and, when you feel pain because you did something wrong, you´re learning something. Probably it´s something like this that I read today: “The non-dual reality lies beyond all appearing dual expressions.”

My ignorance it´s making me suffer physic pain but, behind that pain I can see hard work and the passion of doing the thing I love.

I know it´s time to go deeper in my practice (or time to go to the doctor), injuries come to tell you something.

I want to say that I can see the sign behind this pain but, meanwhile I understand the meaning and heal myself, I can do as my teacher thought me: observe my pain, and try to see what´s going to teach me this time.

Magic summer !

Img_0377

Surrounded by mountains, islands and sea, climbers and adventurers. Surrounded by cloudberries and cod. I´ve feel lost and I´ve returned to find myself. I left my heart just to return to it again and again.

At times exhausting, at times really exciting – Inspiring all the time.

I´ve gone deeper in my yoga practice, feeling my body changing constantly, feeling more strength than ever and, at the same time, feeling really sensitive to everything around me, just as Swami Gitananda Giri said: “You are just becoming more sensitive and you are paying the price for conquering this sensitivity.”

I´ve been sharing my small knowledge freely and receiving in return a lot of love, honesty and gratitude.

But the most grateful here it´s myself.

The first truth is that I already had a summer in the southern hemisphere this year.

The second truth is that these months had been a little wet, windy and chilly for the concept of summer that I used to have. I am not t complaining, not at all. How can I complain when it´s right here, on the breakdown of my mental concepts, where hides the secret that has made this summer a magical one?

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Ahimsa: The journey of Love.

I guess it was during the first month of practice when my teacher talked about ahimsa.

What is this?

Is he talking about taking care of myself?

Treat me with love?

This new concept, this thing that my teacher was asking from me really blew my mind. It was something that no one -never ever- asked me to do before.

Raised in a catholic family, I knew a lot about the importance of taking care for others, feel compassion, “stand in the others feet”. But now there was this man asking me to turn it upside down. Outside in. From the others to myself.

A big journey started: A journey where I was, for the first time, aware of the feelings I felt about myself.

The thing that impressed me most was to actually see how violent I was with myself. How rude, impatient and extremely hard. It was during the hours of practice when I began to treat myself with tenderness, love and patience. In those moments I started to be warm with myself.

Slowly this little change in my point of view began to permeate all other aspects of my person.

I saw clearly, for example, how my idea of success changed outright. Now it had not to do with exceling, go faster than the others or winning something. Now success was just being there, aware of myself, feeling and taking care of myself, facing things at my own pace, being faithful to myself. Inhaling and exhalingnot just in my hours of practice but every time.

After this period observing all those changes, a new question came:

So, if I treat myself this way, how am I with the others?

Everything started all over again because all the love I was giving to myself moved from inside out transforming me into a much more compassionate, patient, understanding person. Then, little by little, the boundaries that separated me from others were disappearing. Slowly I realized that, regardless of location, language, religion, tastes there will always be much more things uniting us than separate us.

In Gurujis words: “Look at the essence and don´t be fool by names”.

As when we fell in love.

Ajedrez