Guest Blogger, Adam Kazan
Ashtanga Alien Predator and What Is
Part 1 of 2
"Everything terrible is something that needs our love." - Rilke
What this blog is not about...Today during practice I thought of the BSG series and the Cylons and how that could be included below. During those thoughts I missed an asana and got very mucked up. Enough said about that.
If you visit my home you may be fortunate and see the large action figures of Alien and Predator.
I suppose that most readers of this blog have not seen the movie Alien versus Predator http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0370263/, the one that takes place in like Antarctica. Perhaps you have seen an Alien movie or Predator. I saw the Alien versus Predator movie one week before going to a 10 day silent vipassana mediation retreat in Shelburne Falls, MA. The sits at the retreat were a hour long each. Old aches and pains visited and took a predominate seat in my body. That car accident a few years ago which strained my back. The right knee with its torn meniscus from a jujitsu sparing beatdown. Did these visit or were they always there lingering like a crocodile quietly waiting for its prey.
So sitting sitting trying trying to notice my breath coming in and out of my nose, what did I want? Not to ache and not to pain, no suffering Now!
So my lovely mind tried the not me thing, transferred the pains to images of Predator and Alien. Within the grey matter of my brain Predator and Alien fought deadly battles. Pushing the pain away and let them fight. It just kinda seemed to work for a couple of days, but alas the aches and pains were part of me and I could not get divorced from myself. Woe is me. I think a lot and thought of a solution. Aikido with bamboo swords! Like dancing. Both Alien and Predator were in those Japanese fencing uniforms.
And I started to investigate my aches and pains. It is a very curious thing to spend time with pain. Arose not the spilling of concentrated acid (Alien's blood) or the cry of a battle won due to the severing of the other's limb, but a desire to be compassionate to myself. A warmth, a knowing of my suffering, an internal gentle hugging. I started then to be able to feel acceptance, tolerance, kindness for the frailties of the body and mind. With this knowing I also knew that others suffer within their own little and big science fiction movie hells (original series Star Trek -Mirror, Mirror, Star Trek: Next Generation - Chain of Command, The Matrix, Bridget Jones Diary, Lost in Space, Terminator ). By the end of the retreat the mental formations of Predator and Alien were sitting flanking me both crossedlegged and meditating. Once home, action figures graced the left and the right of my meditation mat.
By now you must have already thought at least a couple of times...So what does this have to do with Ashtanga yoga practice? And so await the second installment....