Tomorrow afternoon, I'm scheduled to get LASIK. I have some trepidation about this. Not, like, worried about the outcome: I'm pretty sure that, on the whole, having a LASIK flap is going to be much safer and much less of a liability than being dependent on corrective optics while I'm outside exploring. To tell the truth, I was planning on doing this last year, and backed off at the last second -- like, the day before I was supposed to come in for measurements. I've worn glasses since I was 6 or so (so, 22 years!), and glasses have just kind of become part of who I am. Who would I be if I didn't have my glasses? Who would I be if I couldn't choose to see or not see?
Tonight, I went and practiced asana at Planet Granite. The same studio I have practiced at for years, the same class I have taken for quite some time, with a teacher I knew well. Sometimes when I practice, I put my glasses on, and see through my glasses. Sometimes when I practice, I very intentionally take my glasses off: let my vision be blurred, as a way of turning inwards. I did today: today would be my last opportunity to do that. It felt like a turning point, and I tried to savor it when I could. The soft defocused view, the warm color temperature of the filtered floor lights, the knowledge that I was practicing in the company of many others, but without the distraction of any in particular ...
Some time ago, I used the metaphor of avidya for glasses with scars on them. When I have my glasses on and I see the outside world with crystalline sharpness, am I seeing reality more clearly, or less clearly? When I take my glasses off, and the outside world is blurred, am I now seeing reality more clearly, or less clearly?
In April, I talked about my experience of a morning practice. I promised myself that I would be honest when I talk about my experience of yoga, rather than trying to cultivate an image, and so it is only right to say: I haven't been doing it recently. In fact, I haven't been sitting at all recently. I've gotten out of the habit of it. Or, really, I couldn't make myself do it. For a while, I was beating myself up about it, feeling guilty after every day that I didn't sit. Then, the weeks went by, with my mala sitting on my cushion, untouched, but at least not unnoticed.
I'm given to believe that it is a very rare individual indeed who does not, at times, struggle with the practice of meditation -- or yoga, in general. I'm certainly not one of them.
I don't know when I'll come back to it. I take some comfort, though, in the knowledge that, like an old friend, it will be there for me when I return.
— Guruji Pattabhi Jois