It’s so nice to have a closet full of my own clothes, to be able to put my shoes in the shoe rack and to sleep in my own bed. Being on the road is great, don’t get me wrong, but having a regular pad to call home has been well worth the wait. After roaming the world for almost two years, teaching in studios all over Europe and in awesome festivals like Bali Spirit, the Barcelona Yoga Conference and Bhakti Yoga Summer in Germany I can’t help musing that the ultimate festival is the one I have every night as the sun sets over Koonyum range here in sleepy old Mulllumbimby town. Instead of nightly Kirtans and packed Vinyasa classes I watch cows and calf’s flouncing their tales, walk on deserted white sand beaches and practice outside amongst exotic birdsong. Yes, I have to admit it, this part of the world is about as beautiful as it gets. Somehow amidst the majesty of Europe and the cultural feast of India I had forgotten how nice it is to go to a local market, eat fresh produce, grown just down the road and have a catch up with a dear friend.
It’s been delightful to take advantage of living 5 minutes drive from the beach and this morning while walking I came across a butterfly who seemed to want to go swimming. He was so delicate and I did my best to rescue him from drowning, but it may have been too late. His wings were pasted together and he was struggling to stand upright. I thought about my own recent incident with a knife. I cut my hand quite badly about two weeks ago and like Mr. Butterfly I was temporarily incapacitated. But how can I compare myself to a butterfly? Does a butterfly know it’s drowning? Recently I read an article that proved without a doubt that animals have emotions but what about insects? It’s fascinating to ponder the different levels of consciousness, which pervade each and every form.
While I was in India studying Atma Jnanam (self knowledge) I spent time exploring some of these ideas. I thought about the nature of silence and space. I tried to describe silence, but could only relate to the sounds that come and go in its presence. And what about space? Could I capture it? No way! Only the forms appearing and disappearing caught my attention. And what about consciousness? Could I see it, touch it, taste it? NO… I could only experience it through being conscious. Contemplating these ideas through the traditional teachings of the Upanishads enabled me to understand that consciousness is in and throughout everything and everything is in its presence. In yoga words like Shiva, Atman and Brahman are given to describe the infinite. But a name can never be the nameless. Just like I can never be something I’m not. It’s like imagining I’m a butterfly, it’s impossible.
Before I left Byron Bay I was restless. I wondered if I had become complacent amidst all the natural beauty and if this was the right place for me. I looked to the land for signs and symbols to help me make the “ right ” choice. Now being back and teaching again I can’t help smiling. This land is so ancient. It was here long before I was born and will be here long after I am gone. It doesn’t care if I am restless, complacent, happy or unhappy. It doesn’t throw up a symbol just because I want it to. Creation has no opinion, no desire, Creation alone is. It’s always been up to me to enjoy my life to make a choice and live with the consequences. That’s all anyone can ever do. I’m so glad to hang my hat in this neck of the woods for a while. It’s one of the best places in the world to just be my self.
If you want to come and share Yoga in a beautiful place and deepen your knowledge of yourself why not join us in the upcoming Byron Yoga teacher training October 15- November 30, 2012