Saturday, May 29, 2010

Road Trip

For the Memorial Day weekend, Kathy and I are taking a drive up to Northern California to visit some of her friends from college days (U.C. Santa Cruz). The town they live in is named Paradise. So here we are, on a road trip to Paradise. 

But first, a stop in Madera, a nondescript farming community north of Fresno, snuggled deep in the center of the Central Valley, with a landscape as flat as they come ending in a sudden uplift of mountains to the east and west. The Valley always reminds me of a giant serving platter...

Many of my students report that they are not able to maintain their meditation and yoga practices while traveling. For me, it is the time when my practices thrive. There is something alluringly delicious about throwing out my yoga mat at sunrise in a hotel room (especially one as big as the suite we upgraded to for $10 extra), and then letting my body move through a strange space. It enlivens my practice, and lets me access a kind of Beginner's Mind (see 2/1/10 & 4/14/10 blogs).

Then I plop my zafu down on the floor and sit for thirty minutes or so, again noting the newness of the environment - its sounds, its smells, and the feel of the space itself. Insights come by the trainload (apropos of the mile-long freights that pass within a few hundred yards of the hotel).

One insight this morning was that doing this kind of practice on a road trip allows us to be more present with the trip itself while it is happening. We actually see the countryside as it passes by. We notice the unusual signage along the frontage roads of the towns we are going through. We appreciate the company of our loved ones, if we are traveling with them, or we allow our own thoughts to move through in an interestingly unimpeded fashion if we are traveling alone.

Above all, we realize that the journey is the destination. Soon we will be in Paradise, if all goes as planned. Now, however, we are here, and wherever we are is paradise.


1 comment:

  1. Enjoy Paradise and paradise. We missed you this morning at SLY but you were talked and thought about.