Raw, adjective: 10. not diluted, as alcoholic spirits: raw whiskey.

Tomorrow marks six -- count 'em, six -- years spent shaking martinis behind that bar. Unbelievable, if you ask me. And yet, at the same time, perfectly perfect. A lot of water's gone under the bridge in those six years, a lot of cocktails shaken and strained, a lot of barstools filled with a constantly-rotating mosaic of faces, a lot of wine spilled, a lot of dirty jokes cracked.

In light of this wee anniversary, I sat down with last year's blog on the Yoga of Bartending -- Bartendasana, if you will -- also known as "How to be a Bhakti Ninja." It's one of my favorite pieces of writing ever, I think -- that beloved melding of theory and real-life, philosophy and practice, theology and grit, ideas and bodies. And it makes me laugh, and cringe, and smile, and cry, maybe even just a little, and look oh-so-fondly upon those six years of one of the most unintended, unexpected blessings (and teachers) of my life. I give thanks for this guru -- for the broken glasses and the cracked hands and the tired feet and the weary chatter. Such great thanks. For she has taught me so much...

Bartendasana: the huffing-puffing, bending-twisting, sweating-flirting,
laughing-cursing embodied moving meditation that is shaking
cocktails in a dimly-lit, jazz-infused, oak-scented bar.
See also: bhakti ninja.


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