Thursday, October 12, 2006

First Blog

A feature of my new life here in New York is that I often find myself walking through crowds, crowds that are talking. If you close your eyes it is as though you were in a sea of conversations. A sea that is at once painfully fleeting and eternal. Walking through Grand Central I imagine the people hurrying through twenty years ago, thirty years ago, busy in their busyness talking urgently about the same things people are talking urgently about now; friends, lovers, family, work, sports, nothing, everything. Five years from now there will be other crowds walking urgently, talking urgently, embodying for a moment the timeless momentary now of rush hour in New York.

Recently as I emerged from a train onto a platform somewhere underneath Manhattan, a woman behind me told her friend "So I said to myself..." I did not catch the rest but I pondered what I had heard as I moved through New York City at 5pm. We really think we have a "my" self like we have a my car or a my handbag. That somehow we have been able to detach a separate self out of the fabric of the universe which now owns itself. What are the implications of this? With a tree is there a myself that is the wood part and a separate myself that is the leaf part? And what about the sunlight that is photosynthesized by the leaf to feed the leaf, and the tree--how does that go down? Is there a stock exchange within the tree to facilitate the myriad of tree to leaf transactions? And what about the relationship between the sunlight and the sun?

My walk to work is about twenty-five blocks and I miss the traffic light at about half of them, this is always the case but I still feel triumphant and savvy each time I don't have to wait at the curb. The other half of the time I am usually waiting at the curb beside someone smoking whose using their cell phone. On that particular day the cell phone conversations felt more urgent then usual. I could hear in them a separate self trying to get the world to cooperate. It was like listening to a bunch of leaves on their cell phones complaining about their lack of autonomy. What's wrong with just enjoying the magnificent reality of being a leaf?

Having a myself means that we have a "My pain", "My past", "My future", "My children", "My wealth", "My disease", "My girlfriend", "My boyfriend", "My victory", "My failure", "My country", "My religion", "My race", "My people", in total we have a separate self; we have a yours and a mine, and we have a lot of reasons to be angry, sad, and afraid. What I am learning is that we are consciousness the way a wave is water. Consciousness does not have rain it just experiences rain and there's a big difference.


Anonymous Mark Kaskey said...

Hi Rolf,

Thanks so much for starting your blog. It is truly a gift to be able to read your thoughts on yoga and life. Your first entry couldn't have been more timely for me. I have been listening to various CDs by Eckhart Tolle and he talks about how we all get attached to "my story". My internal dialogue goes along these lines; "this shouldn't be happening to me" or "this is not how my life is supposed to be going." The extent to which I have been able to let go of "my story" has been directly proportionate to the time & energy I have given to yoga--not just asana, but also meditation, pranayama, service to others, etc. Then the deflation of my ego (or "the little me" as Eckhart calls it) starts to happen and I find joy. I get a glimpse of what it is like to be One with all beings and I get a little taste of what heaven must be like.

Mark from Philly

11:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rolf, excellent first post. I read your book ("Meditations from the Mat") daily to find clarity in these very rushed times, at times I am able to enjoy brief moments of stillness where I feel as if I belong, and other times I feel as if I am just another one of the cattle being herded through the things that make up my life. This first post points out alot of what has been holding me back, I get caught up in all those attachements of "My this, that and other" kind of like its a competition to find things that need so much of my mental attention that I cannot relax. I look forward to your next post.

6:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Rolf, it was good to read your blog and get a daily dose of Rolf. But it was a sad reminder of how much I miss your classes in Boston. If you ever decide to leave the hustle and bustle of New York behind, it would be fabulous to have you back here, encouraging victory to our spirits, and peace to all beings.
Missing you,
H from Cambridge

7:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi rolf
i agree with H from cambridge - but how inspiring to realize we can find you here at the very least.
miss you!!!

10:30 PM  
Blogger Tim said...

Hi Rolf,

It's 4:30AM here in Somerville, MA. I just read your entire blog. What a blessing! I laughed out loud in many places. Laughter is the immediate, unfettered response of consciousness. I'm now fully awake so I can go back to sleep :-).

Love that Eckhart!

Peace, Tim

4:42 AM  

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