I bit the bullet and enrolled in the teacher training program.
All of the signs were there; $98 round trip airfare, plus the Hex will be out of town so I can stay at his place.
But it will nonetheless break the bank.
So I've been searching for the best prices on the long list of required books, etc. My editor has loaned me Yogananda's Autobiography of a Yogi, which I read some time ago. A fellow teacher thinks he has Dharma's DVD's. And the Sivananda Vendata Center had Sivananda's Science of Pranayama book for just $6 (vs. $10 on the internet).
I popped over to the Sivananda Center to get the book. The place smelled of nag champa incense, just as I remembered.
I used to go there when I first started doing yoga. While the other studios were closed on holidays, you could always count on Sivananda. They're the ones who taught me how to do headstand without a wall.
I still feel very welcome there.
The teacher training list also includes a "meditation shawl." While I was paying, I saw some shawls folded up in the corner ($15). I zeroed in on the orange one.
I unwrapped and it smiled when I saw which deity was printed on it.
It was Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth.
And beauty, too.
I finally unwrapped one of the mantra CD's I got at the Ramakrishna ashram in Mysore last summer, Paratpara Parameshwara by the Challakere Brothers. They seem to be Shiva chants, and I'm pretty sure it's one that they play before class at the AYRI. Apparently the Challakere Brothers are related to my teacher's teacher, T. Krishnamacharya.
Along with the beautific image of Shiva and his serpent, the CD packaging features a crossed-out skull and crossbones with the admonition, "Kill Piracy -- Buy Orignal Only."
That Shiva. Always about the destruction.
I just cracked open Autobiography of a Yogi. In the book, Parmahansa has visions at an early age. His mother understands this and, in a letter written before her death (which he predicted), she encourages him to pursue his destiny and make use of a special amulet delivered by his brother. "He should receive it at about the time he is ready to renounce all worldly hopes and start his vital search for God."
As part of my campaign to wean myself off of radio in the car and fill my mind with higher things, I just started listening to George Eliot's Silas Marner, on cassette tape. I'm only about ten minutes into it. Thus far, the super-pious young Silas has had a "fit" in church, and people start looking at him askance. Then his friend frames him in a robbery, and the whole village turns against him.
Such a different reaction.
It reminds me of a saying I heard at a retreat somewhere (and which I am butchering here): There are so many enlightened people in India because people there are open to that possibility.
The photo at top was taken at the library. I have no idea what "Flag Disposal" is all about. Is it an incinerator for flags that touched the ground? In tatters? Or is it for folks who put up flags after 9/11 and are no longer quite so gung-ho about the war? I suppose we may never know.