Tuning back…


It feels nice to return after a long gap; a month to be precise. I consciously avoid calling it a break, as it wasn’t mean to unwind. I was fortunate to take out 30 days off from the professional life and pursue my heart’s call. After a lot of deliberation and contemplation, I joined the Yoga Instructor’s Course. However, yoga-Asanas could be the last thing I was looking at training myself in. As I expected, it turned out an excellent opportunity to observe myriad shades of life. Visiting a place on mission and studying people and cultures is more than intriguing. Open to every experience, I was convinced that life never ceases to surprise us.
Located amid sylvan surroundings away from the hustle and bustle, the venue I stayed was an island in itself with no connection to the world outside. No newspapers, no emails and measured use of mobile phones (after a gap, they automatically stop ringing) yet I was happy. It was altogether a different world for me with neither work deadlines to meet nor domestic and social responsibilities to fulfill. And yes, no driving on crowded roads!
Though the schedule was hectic and we were busy round-the-clock from 4.30 am to 10 pm, I never felt exhausted even for a moment. Yogasana sessions, lectures on Indian philosophy, Satsnag- usually unusual side of life greeted me there. Cool mornings and windy evenings in the nature’s lap, what more can one ask for? That is not all. Every place has a different vibe, a different spirit. It’s not good or bad in itself; it’s up to us what we associate things with. Nothing can be entirely miserable or magnificent, but a strange mix of both makes it complete. The world has so many things to offer and teach. It all depends on how open and available we are.
The idea of doing a yoga course was weighing on my mind for long and I could make it at a chosen place, chosen time. As it has to be, I observed everything minutely. Different nationals with different cultures, heterogeneous temperaments and attitudes, it was a mélange of personalities from different parts of the globe. Oh, life can be like this too, this is what I told myself here several times when I found things unbelievable. Facts are facts; it’s just a difference between you knowing and not knowing them. After knowing, again it’s matter of accepting and understanding the realities.
What vague notions of yoga people are haunted! Even after considerable awareness about the ancient Indian wisdom, misconceptions reign supreme. I was stunned to see that a few enlightened (!) folks looked at it as some miraculous trick, black magic or supernatural power!! A chinky-eyed person from one of the eastern countries, struggling to speak English asked me, “Do you know how to disappear?” I was taken aback. First I thought he was not able to express himself rightly but soon I learnt that this was what the yoga was known to some nations even today.
Once a teacher was explaining the happiness quotient. The real bliss and happiness is not outside but within and meditation becomes one of the means to attain the super-conscious state, the teacher was putting his point across. The teacher was forthcoming but stumbled upon a question, “If through meditation, why can’t happiness be achieved through alcohol?”  The teacher played it down and the matter was put to rest, as the question was unexpected.
It is still playing on my mind. People from different parts of the globes have different concepts. In India, alcohol is a strict no-no whereas in the other parts of the world, it’s common. It wasn’t wrong on that person’s part to raise the question.
Everybody hails from a different culture and perceptions are formed on the basis of one’s upbringing. What’s good for me may be wrong for other. Some values are universal but you have to connect to others to explain people in their language. I would see many getting uncomfortable the moment words like spirituality, Atman, Brahman were uttered. Two species of people, one saffron-clad, were explaining and others, in jeans and shorts, align to the spiritual terms were listening.
Those using philosophical language were as much to blame as ones who had done no groundwork. Well, everyone was right in one’s place.
The chord can be struck and tuning will be harmonious the moment both set the similar frequencies. For me, it’s about an attempt to adjust to different wavelengths.
-KanChan

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