Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Confluence

I'm going to The Confluence.

...and any one who knows me really really well might ask me why?

I have a teacher. I was done sampling teachers and searching in that way on a morning in November in 2005.
I was at a small group, week long, Mysore workshop...just 4 people and our teacher. Late in the week, I was having a "tight hip" sort of day. It was the moment for supta kurmasana and it just wasn't going to happen. My hips were tight and both legs were not going to go. My teacher didn't push it, just helped me with one leg at a time and did so with no sense of disappointment or impatience in me or my practice. It might be the first time I ever really stopped fighting that pose and just let it be. That was it. I had found a teacher.

I've dropped into the occasional Mysore room in other cities while traveling for work or visiting family. These visits are a bit like any other visit to a new place. They're fun, but there's also a certain feeling of wanting to be "on my best behavior", to be polite and considerate...all those niceties that were well honed in my mid-western upbringing.

...but I'm not sure there can be much "nudging of edges" until you drop the niceties....and that I think builds on trust that only comes in time. why the Confluence then...5 of the most senior western teachers, sure...but I've never met any of them.

Patrick has touched on the reason here

and Owl has reiterated the reason here is an excerpt from Owl's post that so beautifully describes the reason I am going to the Confluence:
"The sophisticates who have done the work and then just let their awareness open up... who have the discipline to stay open and let stuff continue to happen to them... these are the ones who are more alive than we are."

I'm going to Confluence because I want to here the stories of "The sophisticates". If practice on the mat can differ so much from one day to the next even within the same body, then how different must the experiences of these 5 senior teachers be....and yet when I hear them speak or when I read what they have to share, there is a feeling that they have all arrived in a very similar place.
There is a sense that they take themselves and their lives very lightly.

More than anything else, during the 4 days, I am looking forward to hearing about the work that they put in to make such lightness possible. I've seen video clips of asana demonstrations by most of the teachers that will be at the Confluence workshop and they are beautiful to watch, but it is their lightness and ease in life that has impressed me far beyond what they can accomplish on the mat.

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