03.01.2013 - 08.01.2013
"Stravaigin" is a Gaelic word meaning "to wander aimlessly with intent." (We know this not from studying Gaelic, but from traveling to Glasgow, Scotland and eating at a terrific restaurant by that name that presents itself so.) Whether or not it's an accurate translation, we're drawn to it as a verbal gonfalon for our Magellan vacation. I'm drawn to it as well as an expression of my yogic life - one that is process- instead of goal-oriented. We celebrate the continuous directionality of this trip on which we go west and west without turning back, always traveling away and yet always coming closer home. T.S. Eliot wrote "We shall not cease from exploration- And the end of all our exploring- Will be to arrive where we started- And know the place for the first time." And so I focus on the process of exploring, of engagement, as I tell my students, of cutlivating awareness without judgement, cultivating appreciation, cultivating tolerance, patience, awe, letting our attention wander as it is drawn over a "world rolling in ecstasy at our feet" (Kafka), wandering aimlessly, inspirationally, intent on the process.
Intention is one of the most pervasive words in my practice. I tell my students that our moment of intentionality at the beginning of our asana practice, (or the end of meditation - an incredible opportunity!) is the most powerful of our day. In this moment we decide what kind of experience we will have, in what sort of world we choose to move through. Settling on a word is not sufficient, a strong clear vision is what we need. When I take a class as a student, and the teacher offers this moment, I always feel unprepared. My brain riffles through possibilities as in a few heartbeats I assess my physical, energetic and emotional situation. But more often than not in the last second, with a rush of satisfaction I simply dedicate my practice to the teacher at the front of the room, and see his or her shining face clearly in my heart. As I move through asana and meditation, the joy in my interaction between myself and the instructor and everyone in the room suffuses me and enriches my experience far more than simply setting an intention for "joyfulness" ever could.
So with this round-the-world in five months trip, there are so many things to do. Skills to hone, discipline to maintain, a banquet table mosaic of things to experience and discover, connections to make, ways of being to improve. But the visionI I choose to fuel my intention now is the exhilerating one of my hand clasped with Jim's as we step out into the world in a truly bold and challenging way, traveling always away and yet always closer home. Together in expansion, hearts and minds in playful communion with the world, wandering aimlessly but with intent.