I got back into town last Monday afternoon, and had my first class last Tuesday afternoon - the very next day. This is what I would call hitting the ground running. I'm glad that I didn't have a long period of downtime with nothing to do. This forced me to get over any jet lag I may have had, and also made me feel like I had some sort of purpose for braving the persistent bad weather.
I'm trying to hold on to some sense of the serenity that I found on my trip. Not that I was blissed-out the whole time, but I do feel that I did achieve some modicum of spiritual connectedness that had previously evaded me. Even though I continue to mindfully pause, breathe, and ask for Divine guidance, the challenge of finding a practical application for this practice in the face of everyday life seems, at times, almost insurmountable. When I fail, I try to forgive myself, and promise that I'll do better next time.
Being back in the daily swing of dog walking, school, homework, phone calls, meetings, service commitments, speaking engagements, and other people's drama could derail the most serene of Yogis, let alone someone with an imperfect and sloppy spiritual practice, like myself. I know that there are tools that I can add to my daily practice that might help me better maneuver my way through these difficult days.
I haven't located a yoga class yet, like I promised myself I would do, but that promise still stands. I have, however, continued my daily meditation and prayer practice, and I know that being of service to others always - ALWAYS - helps me to get over any personal hump I may be experiencing. So with this in mind, tonight I'm going to speak at the locked-down detox unit of a hospital, and a few days ago I went downtown to the Department of Corrections offices, in lower Manhattan, and spent a couple of hours filling out forms and getting fingerprinted for my new corrections commitment at the Tombs (the colloquial name for the Manhattan detention complex).
I recently read a quote that I thought was rather provocative and relevant to this topic of service, by the 20th century Taoist philosopher, Wei Wu Wei:
- Why are you unhappy?
- Because 99.9 per cent
- Of everything you think,
- And of everything you do,
- Is for yourself —
- And there isn't one.