Tuesday, November 29, 2005

om shanti

Wow... I hope this doesn't come out sounding corny. It wasn't corny.

I had what I guess was a religious experience at yoga class tonight. (Get your scoffs out now, folks - I'm about to get deep on you now). It happens sometimes during deep relaxation at the end of class, when I'm in that semi-conscious state that is definitely not sleep, feeling wonderfully relaxed. It hasn't happened in a long time, but occasionally during deep relaxation I will get some kind of Overwhelming Sensation. Sometimes it's just pulsating energy, or pure joy, and once it was the very real smell and color of tall grass, cool against my face. It's a neat thing - you leave class all blissed out and goofy afterwards.

So tonight, I had a relatively lackluster yoga class, partly because there was a new teacher who had never actually taught a public class before, and you know, it could have been better. But she was quite nice. Anyhow, towards the end of class we did a sitting twist where you look over your shoulder at the wall behind you, and at this particular yoga studio there are a lot of excellent psychedelic pictures of saints on the walls to look at. I looked at Buddha, who was meditating and radiating colorfully from the picture. I like Buddha a lot. I was thinking about how Buddha is the embodiment of compassion, and of love. Not love in the romantic or the filial sense, though those are included, but LOVE, the force that guides us towards goodness and compassion. I don't exactly believe in "God," per se, but this pretty much sums up my particular cosmology - love.

So then we flopped on the floor for deep meditation. We got the eye pillows. Megan put on the music with the lovely voice singing breathy, melodic Om's over and over. That picture of the Buddha stuck in my mind. "God is love!" I was thinking happily, as if it was some kind of revelation. The image of Buddha from the wall was still bright in my mind's eye. Then the Buddha picture in my mind suddenly started radiating bright red, warm glowing LOVE from the middle of the chest, I mean really really sending out bright red love rays, 100 times more vibrant than the psychedelic picture on the wall. My whole body was vibrating. My teeth were buzzing with the om sounds. (Try it, if you've never done this before: say "om," drawing out the M. Ommmmmmmmmmmmmm. Isn't it cool how your teeth vibrate?).

Tears were streaming down my face and I was smiling like a lunatic. I really hope I didn't scare Megan, the nice new yoga teacher. I was having a religious experience in the middle of her very first class, my body humming along with the Universal Love Vibration. It felt great! I wish I had a picture of it... but it's not like a crying Mary statue or something. It's all inside the mind's eye. Yet so real!

I wish I could have remained in that place a lot longer, vibrating and contemplating love like that. But my analytical brain quickly takes over and the tears dry up (though the smile remains, hours later). I started thinking about how would I explain this to someone else, like HWWLLB's father, who is super-duper-analytical and always wanting to talk religion with anyone who will bite? And how would I draw the Buddha picture? And could I knit a sweater that showed the Universal Love Vibration radiating out of the wearer's chest? And how weird would that be? (Answer: It would be pretty weird). So the Overwhelming Sensation didn't last very long before the Analysis Impulse took over, but hey, it was great while it lasted.

Now the sweater... I was thinking Manos del Uruguay, purplish-bluish, with this big bright red sunburst blasting out of the chest area. And yellow or maybe orange edges, trim I guess. Does this sound totally hideous? Maybe it would be so ugly that it was spiritually ugly. A religious experience for the wearer. But I guess it also means color knitting. Argh! Well, it's not good religious art without suffering, right?


  1. God, I miss yoga. You showed me how much, with your post. If only...alas.

    I say knit the damn thing. You might just have a religious experience while knitting it. Just don't cry too much. You don't want to end up felting it.

    Knit, Purl, Om, you know. That is MY mantra, these days.

  2. That's funny. I do say mantras when I'm making a lace pattern. Knit, Knit, Yarnover, Purl, Slip one, Knit one, pass slipped stitch over, Knit, Knit...


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