Esther (Book 6 of Waldmeer)
THE RIGHT HOUSE
Love Sees Love
Dancing is my Religion
Love Sees Love
Twice a day, Prana Community members were expected to do a forty-five-minute program of asanas (physical exercises), kriyas (breathing practices), bandhas (energy locks), and meditation. A lot of it was in lotus position (cross-legged on the floor) or some version thereof. That, in itself, was hard unless you were Indian. For Westerners, there were many problems – hips that weren’t open enough to comfortably get into the position, legs that went numb (and you weren’t meant to move), and cores that weren’t strong enough to maintain a straight spine. The sitting posture was merely the first problem. Then there were the asanas. They were demanding. The kriyas were more challenging. Merlyn usually felt that she was about to drown from lack of oxygen which then sent her into panic mode and made her breathing even shallower. The bandhas seemed like they were meant for yogis who lived in caves. Merlyn had no idea if the invisible bandhas she was trying to target were hit or missed. The thought crossed her mind, more than once, Are they even real?
There was the option of joining the guided classes run by Veronica, Verloren’s daughter. Veronica’s yoga skills were out of this world and her perfectly sculptured body was a testament to the long-term benefits of the practice. She was a very attractive woman, around Merlyn’s age. Merlyn didn’t warm to Veronica. She wanted to, but it didn’t happen. After a while, Merlyn realised that it probably didn’t happen with most people.
In some ways, Veronica and her mother were alike. Both had lots of life-force. Both were intelligent, not overly so, but more intelligent than the average person. Both were highly driven; ambitious. In other ways, they were different. Verloren was a warm person. Merlyn wouldn’t call her a loving person because love is inclusive of everyone and has no ulterior motive. Warmth is an emotional attitude towards chosen people. Nevertheless, it is a good quality and while Verloren had it, her daughter didn’t. Veronica wasn’t mean. Her mother still could be. She was just empty. Neither mother nor daughter ever looked Merlyn in the eyes. Whether or not someone was capable of (and willing to) really look at Merlyn was her quickest measure of them. It was unfailingly accurate. Love is attracted to love.
Dancing is my Religion
One morning, Merlyn decided to do her yoga practice in Ajna Temple. So long as you were quiet, it was permitted. The temple was empty. She started off enthusiastically but soon deteriorated. In the middle of the kriyas, she let out a gasp for air. Hearing a muffled laugh behind her, she turned to see Shambhavi. He was Veronica’s husband. Looking around to make sure no one else was in the no-speak temple, he whispered hello and moved towards Merlyn.
“It’s hard at first,” said Shambhavi sympathetically. “When Veronica and I started dating, she brought me here to the community. Even though I come from a dancing family, I struggled. Then, one day, here in the temple, I had an idea. I started to turn all my dancing knowledge into yoga. I didn’t tell anyone but, every day, I came in here and worked on my experiment. When I was ready, I told Veronica and that was the day that the Manipura Dancers was born. That was also how I got my name which means something that is born from happiness. They said that when I dance, something blissful comes alive in me.”
After a pause, he said more seriously, “Dancing is my religion,” and recited this poem.
It’s nice to have a new friend, thought Merlyn as she watched Shambhavi enthusiastically recite his poem. She watched as much as listened because he was dancing as much as speaking. Her mind turned to Veronica. Like her or not, we are all here together, working from where we are. I don’t have to let anyone damage my self-esteem but nor do I have to damage myself with negative thoughts about someone else.
Merlyn remembered a section in the community book with the guru’s teachings.
All the positions you learn in yoga are done in order to learn how to not take positions in life. You like this person. You don’t like that one. Life must be seen freshly. Everything is a possibility. When I see you, I look at you freshly. What are you, at this moment? We must get rid of all our positions. That is a great weight gone.