Friday, January 29, 2010

PARING DOWN




For some reason I woke up missing my records today. I gave away my vinyl record collection and half of my compact discs before moving exactly one year ago.* Instead of mantras, Flipper's "Ha Ha Ha" has been going through my head (The song begins, "Isn't life a blast? It's like living in the past...."). But there's no reason to despair - pulling up a video on YouTube is even easier than firing up a turntable and wiping down the vinyl (and, and 5am, waking the neighbors).

Interestingly, I've not been missing all the books I've given away since 2007. That's when Chandra Om explained to our teacher training group that Dharma once told her she needed only two books - The Bhagavad-Gita and the Yoga Sutras. Since then, I've given away over three-quarters of my book collection. But there are still far too many remaining. (I received a note from a fellow Sadhaka today mentioning that Dharma recently spoke about how one should, upon reading a book, give it to someone else as opposed to keeping books and letting them pile-up since "book learning" can only take one only so far; a variation, I think, on Pattabhi Jois's assertion that yoga is 99 percent practice, one percent theory).

It's a process, I suppose....

What is poison in the beginning is nectar in the end.




-----------------------------------------------------------------------

*I did not digitize a single record before giving them away - that would have been cheating - and so far the only 33s I've replaced are The Roches' first album and Brian Eno's Music for Airports. For the record (ha), I was a college radio and punk rock club DJ for over 15 years, so it was a rather bittersweet letting go of the past. Ha ha ha indeed.

4 comments:

  1. and without a teacher, 99% of that 1% of theory will be useless.

    ReplyDelete
  2. You hit it on the head.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I think the 1% theory is already a lot and difficult to accquire for the ordinary humain being like me.

    Y.S. is very open to different kinds of interpretation.

    The more I deepen the study of Y.S., the less I see the reason why P.Jois use the name of Ashtanga Yoga to identifiy his(or/and his teacher's) teaching.

    Y.S. is, in a word, the study on the realisation of higher Self. The accent is given almost on the meditation. I see really the deep and profound relation between Vipassana and Y.S. for exemple, but not so much between Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga tautht by P.Jois and the core teaching of Y.S.

    P.Jois could do it in the name of Hatha yoga pradipika or Gheranda samhita, but not in the name of the Yoga Sutra of sage PataƱjali.

    That's, of course, nothing but an impression of mine.

    If anybody or a teacher could explain me on this subjet, I would be very, very grateful.


    With metta.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Nataraj,

    I agree that the Yoga Sutras are more about sitting and conduct and what to expect on the path, and not so much about asana.

    The missing link seems to be the Hatha Yoga Pradipika - about which Pattabhi Jois often spoke. The conversation about books that I've been having with the fellow Sadhaka continued last night, when he wrote:

    These days, "Sri DM usually cites three texts as the essential ones to own and constantly study with the caveat that the only book he's read cover-to-cover in his life is the B.G.: The B.G., The Yoga-Sutras and the Hatha Yoga Pradipika ... he mentioned all three as fundamental and essential."

    Dharma's favorite version is the Yoga Vidya linear translation, a slim volume without commentary.

    My fellow Sadhaka continued: "I often think of the B.G. as being the complete philosophy with a little practical information, the Y.S. being a balance of philosophy and technique and the H.Y.P. being almost a blueprint for practice. If you haven't looked at it in a while, you'll be surprized by how much Sri DM uses/used it to guide his teaching."

    ReplyDelete