Sadhana and the “Mental Exercises” set

So, I haven’t posted here for a while. I guess it feels like my practice has been on a “Maintenance” basis; like when I can’t stand the pain anymore I dive back in. I recommitted to sadhana for about a week and a half a couple weeks back, and then one night I said, “to hell with it; I’m not going tomorrow.” Since then it’s been hard to get back in the groove.

 

But a funny thing happened one of those days. I remembered Gurushabd saying one day after Sadhana (years ago) that he was going on his morning walk, and I’d been recounting Julia Cameron’s admonition to take a daily walk to improve your life, and I thought I’d give it a try.

At sadhana that morning, the yoga leader was subbing for Gurushabd, so I figured he was out-of-town. I went up Beachwood Canyon to the ranch where the Hollywood sign trail starts, and found the gate hadn’t been opened yet. I hiked for about 45 minutes, and as I neared the parking lot again, I saw what appeared to be a turbaned man approaching. As he came into focus, sure enough, it was Gurushabd! There’s a 3HO song “Walking Up The Mountain” that comes to mind. I was so astonished at the coincidence that I didn’t mention he’d been a partial inspiration for the walk.

 

Last week I was feeling stuck, and stuff wasn’t getting done. I figured sadhana might be a way to jump-start the path to getting back on track. Gurushabd was leading that morning (it seemed he played Jap Sahib instead of Japji at sadhana… I was a bit late and only heard the end of it) Well, I headed home afterwards, and had one of the most productive days I’ve had in months.

Last night I couldn’t sleep and headed over for it, and Keval was leading. It was an interesting set that had a sequence that’s in one of the kidney sets included, but after long Eck Ong Kars I just went right to sleep. I hope I wasn’t snoring. It’s always funny when somebody snores through sadhana. There was this cricket merrily chanting along with all the chants. Wahe guru!

Kavel gave me a big “HI HIMAT!” as I was struggling to tie my shoes, but all my groggy head could muster was a grumbled “Sat nam…” I came home and slept prolifically.

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Mental Exercises Set (with my clearer layout than the original manual)

That mental exercises set, from the Fountain of Youth manual, always looked really goofy. You do the sequence of poses to “Rakhe Rakanhaar” for 1 hour and 45 minutes. I kept trying and could never find the un-interrupted time to get the whole time period completed. Finally, one night I said to myself, “I’m going to get through this tonight!” About half-way through, I began to squirm and my mind was looking for every excuse to quit. I’d then ask myself, “but then you’d have given up and will have to start over again. Is that REALLY what you want to do? It’s just one of your patterns of procrastination and avoidance rearing it’s head.” As the time went on, I began to see, clearly, each pattern of procrastination and feel their intense call to distract me from what I was doing.

At sadhana I often try 7 minutes of the set along with the chant, but I figure it’s not intended to be done that way. It does let me re-experience the awareness of those 135 minutes, however. The thing is that many recordings of Rakhe Rakankaar don’t repeat the last phrase properly, so you can’t do the last posture of the sequence.

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