Why Yes, I'd Love To Jump Into That Teeny Bed

Dissected Buddha, By Gonkar Gyatso (2011)

I've been hunkered down the last few days prepping material to teach 15 hours' of philosophy workshops this weekend. It's nerdy-awesome and of course waaaay too much information, but I dig it. And am always vaguely surprised and delighted that anyone else would like to tawk about this sort of thing.

Most afternoons while my kid naps after preschool I've been throwing on a history or philosophy podcast and squeezing in my home practice. Love listening to some of these Big Deal yoga scholars (most of them male) being interviewed and hearing small children chattering and hollering in the background while they're trying to have Big Serious Conversations about sannyasins and Tantric mudras and the Bhagavad Gita.

It gives me hope.

Inspires me that these folks are getting Big Things Done whilst still chasing tiny little butts around the house trying to get them to wear pants. 

Picturing these Smart-As-Hell British Philosopher Dudes muting their phones and hustling over to the doorway to whisper "Shhh! Take the cat out of the washing machine and pipe down, Nigel!" and then jumping back into the conversation trying to be cool, as though they totally didn't just miss that whole thread about Vivekananda slaying it at the 1893 World Parliament of Religions in Chicago.

Makes me feel like a comrade in the struggle to strike some kind of elusive work/life balance.

It's hard to blend the life of a yogi (ascetic? monastic? contemplative?) with that of a middle-class householder. Really hard. But the teachers I respect most are the ones who've figured it out. Or who are trying to figure it out.

(Steph Snyder, anyone? Jason Crandell, anyone?)

It's pretty easy to be peaced-out when you're sitting on a mountaintop meditating listening to coyotes. Or when you've got gazillions of bucks for nannies and house-cleaners so you can focus on your AAAART

But I am moved to seek out teachers and friends and scholars, yes, who are standing knee-deep in the compost pile of unfolded laundry and scattered Play-Dough and ten thousand library book variations of Old MacDonald.

It's kind of like deciding to take a hot yoga class. You already know, walking into a regular yoga class, that at some point you're gonna feel awkward or tight or frustrated or off-balance. But adding in the 100-degree element kicks the intensity up a notch or seven. More opportunities to practice, right?

This is parenting whilst being a yogi.

More opportunities to practice, baby.

A little bit of quiet can go such a long way. A few deep breaths behind the bedroom door. You can find it in the stolen moments, in half-assed catches of stillness, in remembering to let go and begin again. (Emphasis on the half-assed.) Until you hear the kid waking up, and you roll up the mat and accept that you're gonna get a 20-minute practice in today and that's ok, even if you only did one side of Revolved Triangle and half a backbend, so you scramble up the stairs and take a deep breath and jump out of the meditation and into the relationship.

Michael Stone describes enlightenment as intimacy. A closeness with what is. A clear-seeing. A realness. So jumping into that teeny-weeny toddler bed and scrunching your knees up into your armpits while still half-sweaty from Sun Salutations to snuggle a sweetly-rumpled-waking-up little boy is just another kind of yoga, right? 

Toddlerbedasana. Remind me to trademark that. 


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