Sunday, January 22, 2012

I'm Not as Flaky as I Seem

Rob and I take turns making the bed and we have a small collection of Siberian husky stuffed animals.  Lately, these dogs seem to have a mind of their own and we never know what we will find when we walk into the bedroom so throughout this post you will find random photos with captions that try to explain the inexplicable.  

The puppies are curious
and gather to look out the window
I interrupt this post to offer an apology.

I know, just a few weeks ago I said I was going to be more consistent with the Wondrous Words and Weekly Quotes.  But then last week blogger was not being cooperative and this week my body was not being cooperative.  For one thing, I forgot this Wednesday was the SOPA blackout but I remembered in a nick of time.  Yes, I suppose I could have posted the WW on Thursday but that sort of belies the title not to mention that I felt pretty lousy Thursday.  And then again Friday.  So I sincerely apologize and I swear I am not a flake.  I just play one on the internet.  I now return you to the regular planned blog post.

Speaking of returning (How’s that for a nice segue?), I have returned to school for the third and final class in my course.  (Hmmmm . . . just noticed that I started the third class during the third week of this year.  How strange is that?)  This is a Continuing Education class so it’s not as intensive as a college course would be.  But I don’t know how to study any other way and I tend to study a lot.  Which is why I will probably be commenting as infrequently as I was in November but means that I won’t be studying for long.  I’ll come back to the real world by the end of March, just in time for some new craziness in my life.  But more about that another time.

As part of my morning ritual, I’ve been reading the Rig Veda, which is comprised of ten books.  I finished the first book this week and I’ve been untouched by the text at this point.  This is not to suggest that I’m not going to finish the text.  At the beginning of the year, I determined how many pages per month I would need to read to finish the book within the six month time frame.  I am reading at a comfortable-for-me pace and, having reached over 110 pages (because the first book of the text is longer), I can now set it aside and pick up another of the books from my Hinduism bookshelf without feeling like I am compromising my exploration. 

Puppies love belly rubs.
Here they are hinting oh so subtly.
One of the reasons the text hasn’t resonated with me thus far is that so many of these hymns are focused on how wealth equates divine approbation.  For instance, in 1.xcvii you can see how being sinless, worshipping properly, and such are all evidenced in being wealthy and victorious.  Now, there is the interpretation to be argued that these are spiritual blessings and not physical manifestations meaning that one is spiritually wealthy and victorious and not necessarily physically so.  Taking that interpretation then, how does one move towards the “pleasant homes”?  Those who contend that these physical blessings are metaphors for spiritual ones would typically suggest that the “home” is actually the physical body.  Which then brings us to question of how do we then interpret these things if someone has a genetic pathology or comes down with a terminal or at best incurable condition?

Puppies like dens.  Here they are
"denning" in Rob's bedside table. 
It smacks of “prosperity thinking” and is too close to the teachings of a few Christian teachers who teach God created us for abundance, etc. 

Another reason is that so much of the language is cloaked in a rhetoric that is martial-centric.  I have to laugh at myself for this, of course, because I’ve read (more than once) the Bhagavad-Gita so this language should not come as a surprise to me.  But it is off-putting. 

None of this will stop me from continuing.  From what I understand, the Rig Veda is a collection of many traditional hymns and they are organized thematically so it stands to reason that if I don’t fully appreciate the first book that doesn’t mean that I won’t find something inspiring in another book in the collection.  I shall read on and let you know what comes up. 

Mommy puppy realized baby couldn't
really see out the window before.
My yoga challenge hit a snag when Snowdoll had diarrhea one morning and I was more interested in taking care of her and then cleaning up the mess, including steam cleaning the carpet, than I was in doing my morning practice.  Also, I found the whole updating process a bit tedious.  I would do the morning yoga in the morning.  Later, I would have a vegetarian meal either for breakfast or lunch.  Now, if I had already logged in my morning yoga practice, I’d then have to log my breakfast.  But sometimes I would log them both at the same time.  That still left a meditation practice to be logged and I kept forgetting to log something so that it looked like I was not following through even though I was.  So when I actually chose not to do yoga one day, in favor of tending to the needs of Snowdoll, I just decided to not bother.  That I ate a vegetarian meal that day, that I also meditated, mattered more to me anyway.  And as Shakti Gawain says, yoga is not something you do on the mat, it is how one lives from moment to moment.  My yoga practice that morning was caring for Snowdoll and I know I made the better choice.

It was a dark and thunder stormy day.
The puppies hid under the bed.
Anyway, I’ve blabbered enough already and I have some studying to do.  Did I have more to share?  Yes.  Was it good stuff?  Oh yes, very.  Will it wait?  I suppose it will have to.  I have so much to do today.  You do too, something other than reading a post that just goes on and on and on.

PS:  Snowdoll was fine and dandy before the day was out.  A little rice and a lot of tender-loving care and she had no more tummy troubles.  She is, however, a bit jealous about the fact that all these other puppies get to climb up on the bed but I think as long as we rub her belly as often as we can, she'll be okay.


  1. Yoghurt, in my experience, also helps with a poorly tummy.

  2. I'll keep that in mind for the next time, assuming we have any yogurt in the house. We tend to eat it up as quickly as it comes in the door. Rice, on the other hand, can be stored until needed. I even try to keep a cup or two frozen for emergencies.

    1. I did it again. Forgot to use the reply to comment. It's obviously going to be a while before I get used to this new threaded comment thing, which is weird because I'm thrilled that we have threaded comments.

  3. I feel your pain with the whole back to school is part of why I have been slacking of late. My girlfriend, who is now reading (and perhaps subscribed to) your blogs, has also tried to get me into yoga...with mixed results as I am not limber nor am I in anything close to resembling good shape! The segue is that I would have gladly cleaned up after the sick puppy!

    1. Oooh . . . now I'm wondering if I have a new follower I hadn't noticed. (I usually don't until I get a comment and then I think "aha!")

      I'm reading a great book about yoga (review coming in about a week or so) in which the author addresses a lot of the issues there are in asking Westerners to do certain asanas (ie lotus). I've never been able to do one, myself. I don't know if that's any encouragement to you but if you're imagining my resting my forehead on my knees in a standing forward bend or something, you've got the wrong girl. I do what I can and nothing more.

      I recommend to everyone exploring yoga to find your edge in a pose (that point at which your body stops relaxing and is shifting into strain/slight pain (where a typical "westerner" says they can "feel the stretch") and then back it off a bit where you do not feel it anymore. That is the pose, that slight backing off point. If there is any tension, any effort that is creating stress, then you lose the moment.

      See? Now I want to clarify. There are times, of course, where this is "tension," where a muscle flexes and tightens to hold the pose. That is not what I mean. In forward bends the strain/pain point is typically in the back of the legs. In folded leg poses (perfect/hero/lotus), it's in the knees.

      From my own experience, if I honor my body's signal and back away from the edge of the pose, about a month later I'll notice that I am going deeper because my edge has moved without my pushing into it or forcing it to happen. Another "aha" moment.

      But seriously, I could blabber on endlessly about yoga. and if I haven't already started to bore you, I could start blabbering to that edge and I wouldn't feel any of your pain or strain and wouldn't know to back off. So I'll just stop now.

    2. Hahaha! I imagine it wouldn't take much for me to get that glazed over look while you or anyone for that matter went into great detail about yoga!
      I have almost no flexibility but must admit that my body felt good (and sore) for a day or two after my first attempt. I am willing to try again and keep at it as long as I don't get made to feel stupid for doing so.
      As for your new follower, I think you liked her seagull story!

    3. That story was awesome. Her sharing about how each friend explained the choice made was especially powerful. A lovely reminder of how, when we choose to see others in a loving manner, we are open to experience more compassion in our own lives.

  4. Yes. She is definitely a champion for the defenseless and the weak. She sometimes surprises me with her level of compassion. Anyways, I have to come up with another story myself!

    1. Too funny. Rob woke up this morning and after he'd been up for a while I told him I'd been reading an article from the New York Times. About ten or more minutes later he said, "This is they you don't watch the news. It's an ugly world out there and you end up getting upset."

      See, she champions the defenseless and I feel defenseless against what I see happening. So I let myself feel sad, cry a little bit and then do what I must--study, read comments, try to catch up on blogs, and hope that some inspiration will hit me that allows me to live with myself and my conscience.

  5. Replies
    1. And it's still going on. Today they were roughhousing when I walked in on them and I now know for certain that the one in the red sweater is the alpha because he and he alone was left standing. The others were all tumbled about recovering.