The last couple of weeks have been a real roller coaster ride, since my mom passed away May 1st. The next day I flew to Portland with my family for a weekend workshop. On Friday evening I taught a class called “The Physics and Metaphysics of Asana”. I always use my Matruska (Russian nestling dolls, five in all, that fit inside each other), to represent the Pancha Koshas—the five bodies: Annamaya Kosha (physical body), Pranamaya Kosha (energy body), Manomaya Kosha (mental/emotional body), Vijnanamaya Kosha (intellectual/intuitive body), and, my personal favorite, Anandamaya Kosha (blissful/spiritual body). The physical body is mostly Tamasic in nature, tending towards inertia, density, heaviness and toxicity. In the last two weeks I have been blessed by a monster cold that has unleashed great torrents of mucus. As I near the end of it, the mucus has turned a deep yellow, almost golden color, leading me to believe that something very deep is being dredged up. As stirred up as things have been in the Annamaya Kosha, the emotional storm in the Manomaya Kosha has been even more intense—there is flotsam and jetsam floating everywhere! I think the emotional release probably triggered the physical release. At any rate, it has been a time of great releasing on several levels. My mother’s passing coincided with the conclusion of my second Saturn Return, which stays in effect for several years, from the age of around 56 until the age of 62 or so, because Saturn moves so slowly. My second Saturn Return began just as Guruji’s health began to decline in 2007, continued with his passing in 2009, my father’s death in 2011, and now my mother’s departure. Saturn is known as the Great Teacher, but he is the Great Teacher only for those of spiritual bent, and the Great Tormentor to those with strong worldly attachments. Saturn teaches the futility of attachment to the material world by taking things away from us—our loved ones, our money and property, our health and livelihood, and, of course, our youth and, eventually, our life. Saturn offers us a crash course in the maturation process. The lessons stick because they are painful. You could say that Saturn is the “Greater Teacher “for those of us with the combined condition of both learning disabilities and spiritual aspirations.
Every Sunday morning at 8am I practice the Second Series, along with 20 or 30 of my friends/students. I don’t do the Second Series as well as I once did, but I experience the benefits more now than ever. All day Sunday I felt a part of the Great Oneness: Sunday brunch with the sports page and crossword puzzle, a little NBA playoff action (I loved watching the Spurs and Coach Popovich give the Grizzlies a tutorial on the art of team basketball!), periodic checks of the Padres game (they won 13 to 4!) About 3:30 my daughter Leela and I headed for the beach. We played smashball until we were hot enough to go in the water for a cool and refreshing dip. Warming up in the sun afterwards, it was like old times as I read Leela the beginning of the Panchatantra, an ancient Indian collection of teaching stories, composed by the sage Vishnusharman, who was given the task of educating the king’s three blockhead sons in six month’s time. After the beach, Leela and I headed for Carlsbad to meet my son, Eli, his wife, Jamie, and their two kids, Jade and Taj. I know I am a little biased, but I truly believe I have the most beautiful grandchildren in the Universe. We topped off the day with dinner at our favorite Sushi place. Home for a little bedtime reading and a much anticipated and treasured date with the Sand Man.