Dharma, Dating and Digging up Dirt
16 Sep 2010

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We are to practice celibacy here. No, we are not allowed to date either. Those of us in the LYT program are here to further our understanding behind the philosophy of yoga, the scriptures and the practice—so we must be wary of distractions. Could you have guessed that relationships could be such a distraction? I have never heard of such a thing (please note my sarcasm).

I have always been questioned on my lack of dating. I mean I have had a “boyfriend” here and there, for a combined total time probably not exceeding 2 months and a half. I just did not find someone to swoon me away from other personal traits I was working on. When questioned (“hey you are actually cool and kinda cute, why don’t you date more often?”) I never truly felt unease. However in my late teenage years and my early 20s I realized there was a huge focus on having a mate (“having someone to cuddle with”, I’ve heard this at least 10,000 times, excluding weekends.) and the longing for having satisfying sex, and hopefully lots and lots of good sex. I never really got to that need or desire, though I tried to force my wants that were never strong at times. Looking around Yogaville—I find that all along it had a purpose.

Now—I don’t want to sound righteous or “HA I KNEW IT ALL ALONG” its more of a sigh for me, acknowledging that I am not a freak of nature. The traditional Integral Yogis believe in the practice of only having sex when married, and avoiding the use of contraceptives (because they are not good for your body—not for philosophical reasons).  I used to roll my eyes at this belief, because sex is just a human desire that unites people in a beautiful and powerful way. However, it was not the message but how it was told to us. My memories of my Catholic upbringing, when it comes to catechism, tends to be very negative. They would point the finger at us and tell us all the ways we would go to hell, including premarital sex/masturbation.  In the convoluted message, there is logic: we waste our energy often and wonder why we feel alone still. We are truly supposed to use it responsibly… and then the connection can be fulfilling. If it happens to be when you get married, well then that is an uncommon coincidence.

It’s not the sex that is the problem, or the relationship but the dependency to it. We are struggling to get something that turns out empty. Anything we must have to be happy eventually disappears or dies; this is life. When you are content with yourself and the world as is, then those relationships flourish independently. Failed relationships serve as the universe teaching you something. If you are too arrogant to learn, the lesson will come at you more and more. I would rather just skip the torture and spend the energy in controlling my unnecessary wants and needs.

However, I must be truthful. I often have exerted way too much energy and fantasized (and overhyped) about men who crushed on me. I have had a horrible pattern in which I end up liking the guys that like me for the most part. Luckily I restrained myself throughout—could have been emotionally disastrous.

We get to play outside everyday… Channeling this childish energy is powerful!

My two friends I had previously mentioned in other postings: Emma and Frank, have left. They were both only here for the weekend. They were incredible people and I hope to run into them in the future. However, I am completely submerged by inspirational, happy and spiritual people so connections are inevitable. I got closer to my roommate, and met really great fellow LYTs and swamis. Swamis are the spiritual leaders here, who have sacrificed and given up the material life and the physical life (as in, sex). They also have endless streaming love coming from them all day. Some are like walking ecstasy. They almost seem to glide through the ground; too light for it to hold them. Yogaville is basically a Utopia, and because it is so, it is pretty intimidating. People here who clean the toilets (myself included) see it as a cleansing that gives good energy to the people who will use it.  It is part of the community realizing that every task is as important as the next: in order to function, the Ashram needs them all to be done. People are at peace with the task and even stranger: they enjoy it thoroughly.  I wonder what would happen if we were to take our work as seriously and spiritually. What a thought.

I sat to meditate again. Our morning meditations begin at 5am and end at 6:20. I was spoiled because the first time I attempted at this, I went with a LYT fellow who left within 45 minutes. I felt it was okay soon after to leave, because 45 minutes had been quite an undertaking for me.  I realized that this only hurt my discipline (its also not allowed to come in/out in a middle of one of these meditations), so the second time around, my body just naturally wanted to stand up after 45 minutes. I trucked on through, failing to tie down the drunken monkey (my mind.). It has become more tolerable, and it is strange how the time just melts faster and faster.

I feel much more mindful, witty and yes truthful. In class, we were asked to sit and to think about meditation. As the swami (who happens to be a PhD Psychologist) asked for everyone’s opinion, I felt the hesitant air so I decided to go first, “Meditation for me has been a way of grounding myself in order to connect better with others’ groundings”. I was surprised that it struck a lot of people, and if you asked me about meditation, this is the core of it to me. However, I am hitting a bump in the road where my mental resistance is being tested.

One thing I love about the program I am in is that we go to classes and discussions. It seems I have signed up for another semester of school and I am so excited to fit back into my comfortable role as a “nerd”. In class today we discussed meditation through mantras, which are a sort of chant. There are thousands, and you can create your own! The importance is not the meaning but the vibration it makes. This is considered to connect us all to the almighty (or the universe, which is my preference of diction.) Through concentration and mediation you reach the discipline and control of your mind. Ever wonder why you were so attached to certain music, or voices?  The vibration unites us to a higher feeling. The mantra is this same concept, where you unite your sound with the “Om” of the Universe. “Om” is a typical chant, just makes a deep and powerful vibration you feel all over your body (translated from Sanskrit it means “god”).  It is something used in a variety of religions, including Christianity’s “Amen”.

"Clean me WITH PURPOSEEEE"

I have also finally been trained in all the possible tasks I will do in my work/study program. The work includes: kitchen preparation, kitchen clean-up housekeeping and even FARMING (I am so excited for this one!). All of this is part of a sect of yoga called Karma Yoga. The belief is that by selfless action you have a proactive and content life. I was awed during our housekeeping orientation. The two heads discussed their work in a way that wanted me to clean all day. They explained how they are so blessed to do housekeeping, since it is the first thing that people see when they are here in Yogaville.  When they do it with optimal, positive thought, they are setting the energy in the room. I could go on for paragraphs, but summarized cleaning was glamorized as a sorcerer happy pill for the world.  By the end of it we were all so inspired we cleaned the entire cantina from top to bottom, completely happy at each stroke we gave to the wall, window or floor.  If you ever questioned the beauty of Yogaville’s community, I hope this convinced you otherwise.

I must admit that there have been boys on my mind here. It is inevitable. For us western women who desire compassionate, in tune, good hardworking men— know why you haven’t been able to find them? They live in Yogaville. I was dominating my thoughts of boys, since really it can be a huge distraction from what I am doing. Then, the universe decided to test me some more.

At lunch, we have a few tables where we observe silence. I like to sit there once in a while to absorb what I learned or felt earlier that day. During lunch we have 30 minutes of the most spiritual and uplifting quotes and scriptures read to us, so I usually enjoy sitting in silence to listen in. After the message was over, the boy next to me asked me if I was observing silence, and we both broke our table’s vow and engaged in conversation. We both acknowledged it was worth me being late for my FIRST kitchen shift (notice any patterns of time here?).  Lets call him Jake.

Jake has been here for months, on a similar path than me; he came after graduating college. He said things I have only heard myself say, or people say about me. We agreed on so many different points and he is very eloquent and well studied. He and I by the end of the conversation agreed that we were basically the same as one another, just in the opposite sex.

After 10 minutes of being tardy, we wrapped up the conversation, I stood up as he said “We will need to talk again”, and we did.  Serendipitously (in this place it happens so often) I wanted to check my Facebook (yeah, don’t judge me!) in our multipurpose room. There was Jake, watching a film about Gandhi. I had to stay, I was so thrilled to see Gandhi’s path in detail. Afterwards, Jake and I spoke about our philosophies and our journeys that brought us here. Inevitably (and coincidentaly he brought up the conversation of this very article I was writing) we started talking about relationships. Jake was at the other pole from me, as he confessed to being very into women and to not being able to resist them very well. “So you were a playboy, huh?”, I said. He laughed and nodded. He has been celibate for 6 months now, and he is now overcoming his easy desire for a woman he likes. “Its hard for me to not make advances when I see a beautiful woman, like you, for example”.  In denial, his words echoed in my mind, though we both played it very cool. I also came to terms right in that moment with the reality that, well—I liked him too.

It got pretty late; it was around 11pm (remember, we wake up at 4:30 am). As we walked up the stair corridor together I could feel our energies flourishing, and unlike the movies where someone can’t resist and throws the other person against the wall for a magical Hollywood kiss, we both respectfully said goodnight and went along to our separate dormitories.

Interestingly enough, the Gandhi film has two parts, and we only watched one; so there must be a second…date? I am unsure if Jake and I should actually date, or if it would even work, but we are both definitely here to test each other’s strength and mindfulness.  Meditation has become let’s say, a little bit more distracted lately.

Quote that rung in my head:

“The Universe only satisfies your needs, it does not satisfy your greeds.”

Speedy Story Time

I could relate to this story very much. My mom, Carlos and my sister probably noted this from how arrogant I used to be (and still have traits of):

A man came to a guru to learn about his knowledge and wisdom. He goes to him, but constantly brings up his point of view and shows off all of the knowledge he has. As the Guru pours him some tea, the Guru does not stop when the cup is full, rather he keeps pouring more and more as the tea spills all over the table.

The man asks, “Guru! Why overfill the cup? You are making a mess!” The Guru responded, “You are just like this cup. You are so full if I gave you anything else it would just spill over. If you want to learn wisdom, empty your cup and come back to me”.

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