Friday, January 11, 2013

my favorite time of the day

A one-liner from Louis C.K., who is one of my favorite comedians, goes like this: "it's easy to have the body you want, you just have to want a shitty body."  This plays around the edge of where santosha (contentment) ends and nihilistic despair begins.  I was thinking about this when trolling through facebook this morning.  My teacher Kino had re-posted some of the instructional videos we made together and so I re-read the disparaging comments about my physique made by some lonely shit-heel out there in cyberspace.  The same sequence of gut reactions that I had the first time I read the comments played themselves out again.  First, amusement at the comments, which are actually pretty funny.  Then, some self-doubt and body image insecurity came up in spite of myself.  I know I'm not obese or even overweight by most any criteria, but neither could I be an underwear model.  One or zero.  "If you ain't first, you're last," as Ricky Bobby said.  Then, annoyance at the guy who made the comments, but that turned to compassion for him when I did a personal inventory.  I want what I have, so I have what I want.  While I can't say for sure, I'm guessing that this is probably not the case for the person who has to tell people, anonymously in a youtube comment stream, about his six-pack abs and chiseled arms.

There have been some dramatic changes in my life in the past few months, but I still want what I have, maybe more so than ever.  I've got a new schedule, a new house, and a new favorite time of the day.  My work load has decreased drastically, leaving me more time to tend to my new home, yet I am also more spartan than ever before.  This is my typical day now: up at four am; roll out of bed, brush teeth, etc.; walk the dog around the block, bond with him; get on my bike at quarter til five and ride to the metro rail station to catch the first train at 5:05; take the train to downtown Miami, get off and ride my bike through Overtown to the bus station and bus onto the beach; teach Mysore-style from 6-8:30am; practice; teach guided full primary if it's tuesday or thursday; come home by the same route; once I get home I have lunch and pick some household project to get done; make dinner; chill with Nubia; walk the dog one last time; go to bed; repeat...

The very best part of my day now is the last dog walk, which I do with Nubia.  Temperatures are cool (at least for next few more months) and it's quite serene in our little suburban enclave.  It is an activity known in the athletic circles as active rest and it's totally magical.   This simple act causes the three of us to bond ever deeper in some primal way.  I love it and look forward to it every day because I am reminded of what is essential, and that I have that.  Let my lucky circumstances be a springboard from which I can serve others.


  1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts here, Patrick. I think you life has a very admirable simplicity and beauty. I look forward to reading your blog posts this year.

    Btw, I also just wrote a piggyback post on your post:

  2. Hi Patrick, great post. I have a favourite time of day too, I get up at 5:30ish, have a cup of tea and sit for 40 minutes. No-one else around, just me, with my own thoughts. Our lives are pretty similar, sometimes I forget just how lucky I am to have what I have and I get down. But the new year has made me realise that I have everything I need and life is quite amazing. Peace :)