Disappointment in spirituality


Alice came to a fork in the road.
"Which road do I take"? she asked.
"Where do you want to go"? responded the Cheshire cat.
"I don't know." Alice answered.
"Then", said the cat. "it doesn't matter".

- Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

The unexamined life, said Socrates, is not worth living. That is some serious shit. It almost offends. Who lives a conscious, examined life? Where are the people living examined lives? Lives worth living? I do examination of my life and I see it for what it is.

If I take Socrates to mean the stagnated, home-work-home, repetitive life is not worth living, then he is saying that most people's lives are not worth the bother. And that should be a bit of encouragement a good news for me. If others are the same as me then it not so bad.

What am I waiting for?

I can just do meditation, do my ashtanga yoga half primary, read Echart Tolle and pass the time playing I am awake. I am nice to other people and I say sorry when I'm done wrong. Still, I am waiting for something. What am I waiting for? Transcendental bliss, cosmic consciousness, kundalini awakening, supreme love? I am not sure...

Somewhere on internet I saw the picture of kamikazes in the second world war. They all had helmets. Why would kamikaze wear helmet? God damn that is a good question. With every passing day I am getting older. With every passing day I am closer and closer to death. Funny thing is that I also wear a heavy helmet. My helmet consists of my fears. I put my fears on, or into my head, I sit in the airplane, which is my life, and I am flying in the direction of death.

Dictionary says that fear is a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined. This is so important, whether the threat is real or imagined, the mind does not make any difference.

This is a strange situation. All my ideas, that I am born at a given place, at a given time, from my parents and now I am a yogi, living at, father of, employed by, and so on, are just ideas not my sense of self, not what I am. Those ideas are source of my fears. Stronger I believe in those ideas, heavier the helmet on my head... 

I am a fool, no doubt about it.

Yoga asanas, meditation, praying, chanting, vegetarianism, attending darshan and satsang, vipasana, pranayama, zazen, donating money to charitable institutions, reading classical spiritual literature, purifying body etc... I have done all these things. In my spiritual practice I tried to maintain certain direction. I wanted to develop spiritually, raise my consciousness, get enlightenment, obtain liberation.

So far I was considering myself moving, progressing. I did believe, in the broadest sense, that something is wrong and this spiritual practice can make it right. What that something is, what's wrong with me, and how it can be fixed was not known to me. However now, I am starting to realize that this wrongness is entirely imagined. The essence of my bondage is this considering that I am a process, that I have past and future, that I have history and that I keep progressing somewhere.

I admit that I am a fool. In terms of awakening it doesn't matter much if I meditate or not, or whether I eat meat or not, or whether I give to charities or steal from them. For awakening I need to dismantle this false preconception of waiting for something to happen and get rid of this imagined wrongness.

I simply must face the facts, I must face my own mortality, my own meaninglessness and insignificance.

Motivation for ashtanga yoga


Yoga does not remove us from the reality or responsibilities of everyday life but rather places our feet firmly and resolutely in the practical ground of experience. We don’t transcend our lives; we return to the life we left behind in the hopes of something better. ~ Donna Farhi

My Dear Reader,

Did you ever have a dream that you are sitting peacefully? Well, I don't think so. It is the nature of all dreams that the characters therein are so busy.

Life is but a long dream. 

I cannot stop running from here to there and back again. Always on the lookout for something more, different, better, I see that I'm getting nowhere at all. And I'm getting absolutely nowhere faster and faster and with more and more cleverness all the time.

I'm so busy that most of the time I forget that I'm dreaming. 

Lost in my mind’s imagined world of judgments, beliefs, and opinions, I'm literally caught in a waking dream. In some days my dream is a nightmare, for other days some imagined temporary heaven. But for most of the time it is something in between.

I woke up in the morning to another day of activities I'm suppose to do and get things done. It starts with morning coffee and blog post. Then sweaty yoga practice. Then I go to my work office where I perform pointless tasks to secure my daily bread.

After long hours I'm back home. I eat cold food and I spend my time on the internet. All of that is called normal 9-5 life style. From where this "normal" comes I don't know.

Without yoga my "meaningful life" tastes like chicken.

I see it for what it is: a mere life of ups and downs, chronic search for happiness, always dissatisfied, always pretending I am happy and successful. I slip into this life that is laid out for me the way a foot slip in the shoe. I decide nothing, there is no choice, I live the life by default. I play the roles I am born to.

I don't know any better, and I don't know the reason why I don't know any better.

The world is exactly the way it is. 

Nothing less, nothing more. 

"Less" and "more" comes from my imagination. As long as I'm searching for happiness I will be dissatisfied. I search for happiness because I'm not contented in the way as I am.

There is this feeling that there is something more interesting that I can do with myself, more meaningful, more purposeful than my existence is today. This feeling of dissatisfaction is my main force for ashtanga yoga practice.

Wherever life leads me, it will be a dream


Whatever game we play, whatever diversion we occupy ourselves with, we are comforted to think that it leads somewhere, moves us toward some desired goal, that there is meaning in it, but meaning is just a figment of the dreamstate where everything is real, but nothing is true. - Jed McKenna

One thing is for sure... Life goes on. 

Yesterday morning I resumed my yoga practice. Half Primary ashtanga yoga continues. I was strong and focused. I did not practice 10 days. Today, the second practice. My hamstrings, arms and back are sore but it is okay, it is just muscles pain due to inactivity. I will not count practice any more. This is my daily activity.

I'm going to simplify my life. If I can be simple in my expectations, goals, and tasks, I will not only be happier, I will also get more done and be more successful. I will focus on one single task and one major goal in my life that I started seeing rapid results in the direction of my dreams. And that is yoga practice.

If I try to go after multiple things, I will end up accomplishing none of them. I pick yoga as the most important to me and I go after that. The funny thing about focusing on one goal is that it seems that I'm neglecting all the others aspects of my life, but when I focus on one goal, magically the other aspects of my life improve, sometimes dramatically.

I'm surrounded by distractions, such as work, house chores, emails, Facebook. I must learn to manage my time, and get yoga practice done before I start other things. I know what I want however for a long time I avoided setting goals, because I thought it was unnecessary.

Most people sit around whining about their miserable life, and then they wonder why nothing good ever happens to them. I don't want to over analyze and over think.

Wherever life leads me, it will be a dream. And I know, the very idea of going beyond the dream is illusory. But whatever I do, I'll keep practicing ashtanga yoga each day. 

Back to Toronto


I am back. I came to Toronto last night. The flight from Warsaw was 9 hours long. The trip was difficult but I did not complain. Yes, I said final goodbye to my mother. I told her that I love her. I let her know that I’ll be fine without her. That I will be sad when she leaves but I will go on and be what I am. I told her I'm proud of how she fought to survive and battled cancer for all these years. That I admire her perseverance. That she tried her hardest not to show any weakness. I told her, now it’s okay to let go.
I am so satisfied that I made this trip and I saw my mother. I helped my father and sister with moral support and just for a week I took care of my mother. She is fading fast. When I came I found her in hospital. She was semi-conscious but she gradually got better. She went out of hospital on November 19 and she is now at our family house. She caries catheter and she has difficulties walking. 

I was observing the situation and I tried to understand things. I saw that how I act in my relationships is largely the result of how I experience myself in my family. I talk, walk, eat, think, and I look like my parents. I realized, however, how influential my parents were. For me, it is only when dealing with my mom that I recognized these similarities. My parents remain the fundamental cornerstone of my being. They are my fellow travelers, even after death. They will be both missing and present. So in my success, I will remember how my mother would behave with pleasure and a strong sense of the enjoyment of life. When I fail, I will remember how she handled failure - with spirit and larger perspective. I observed her, she would get up and with an unsecure walk, go around the room, and then she would go back to bed. Well, it isn't cancer, she would say, but, of course, it is.

Going back home


My Dear Reader,

Most of the times I write posts here on this blog with the clearest picture in my mind for who I am writing for. I can see you. I can see you sitting there. Reading me. And I search for the words, for the words I think you’d want to read.

And then sometimes I write post just so that I can go back and read it. Once, twice, it does not matter. I write the words for myself only, like someone else is writing them for me. I do this intentionally. I do this when I am writing about something I don’t fully understand.

One of those things I don’t fully understand yet is death. My mother is dying. I can’t ignore it. I am traveling tonight to my homeland to visit my mother. I want to see her for the last time and to say the final goodbye. This goodbye is a hard one. words are the starting point, the finish is in tears. After this goodbye things for me will never be the same. 

My mother will be out of my sight, but she will never be out of my heart, I may not see her face, but I will always remember her smile, I will never hear her voice again but she will sometimes whisper in my ear, I am going to say goodbye to her and to tell her how much she really meant to me, and this time that will be forever.

Requiem for a dream


My mother and my niece

My mother is in hospital and she is not well at all. Her life is coming to the end.

Life is coming to the end? Is that possible? 

Life has a cover, which is made up of the demands we make on the life. Everybody has his or her own demands. Some people feel like the life hasn't given them enough. Some people believe the life is not safe enough. Some people demand that everybody be peaceful. The various demands one can make on the life or on oneself go on and on. These demands form a cover over the life itself. That cover dies, life does not die, it is not possible.

"Life is a dream" because we have this overlay. It is not real. It is only a function of the mind. Our world is the world of thoughts and feelings which is not actually happening except in the mind. Our expectations and hopes are "our" life. And this dream is coming to the end.

We can die while we are still have physical body  alive... 

Releasing this overlay of ideas and images is very much like dying or awakening from a dream. Waking up is the only way to realize that life is a dream. So uprooting the beliefs, ideas, expectations and hopes is what enlightenment is all about.

Why do I practice yoga?


Well, I'm practicing yoga because I want to melt the ice with my ass. 

I saw great yogis were sitting in snow and the snow around them has melted from the intense heat they produce in their meditation. I want to do the same. 

And you know what, I tried this morning on my balcony. I sit on the ice and what can I tell you. There is a great movement in the right direction. After only 5 minutes, my underwear was completely wet. :)

That is a joke I wrote on the paper they gave me to fill out in yoga studio - Why do I want to practice yoga? 

But seriously, why do I practice yoga? 

Eh that's the tricky question. You see, I like yoga asana practice but I disagree with yoga philosophy. For me, eight limbs do not make sense; Patanjali sutras translations are not my thing. 

I am simply not born to trust. I saw "awakened" people, attended to satsangs and devotional gatherings. All these "masters" are awake for themselves not for me.

I don't care if yoga is religion or not. I don't do pranayama, I think it is too dangerous to do pranayama. I just do physical practice. The rest of the yoga limbs - concentration, meditation and samadhi are not of my concern because I don't want transcendental states of consciousness.

Yes, I don't want union with God, eternal Bliss or similar bullshit. I just want to be fully awake, beyond this dreamstate...

No really, why do I practice yoga? 

I must admit I don't know the answer on this question. I know nothing for certain. I don't know any more what the practice and spirituality is all about. There are yogis, and non-yogis, spiritual seekers, who have done their practice for 30 or 40 years. And they are still "practicing". That is an alarming thing, a really scary stuff. 

Is spiritual practice actually the biggest deceit in the history of mankind? 

I don't know.

The answer might to be that enlightenment, or the realization of Truth, is not a casual affair for mere spiritual tourists, but only for the very rare individual willing to sacrifice any and everything, including his or her very life, in its pursuit.

But what to sacrifice? 

Everything I experienced , everything I have lived so far it turned out to be a lie. Anything that is put into my memory is a lie. Who can guaranty that anything I now see, hear, feel or think is just another lie. When I grasp current events as lies, I am really done! Well, until that time, I will continue to do what I do. My stupidity will be by my side enjoying the trip. Well, I might as well enjoy it too.

Most ashtanga practitioners, myself included, are merely in search of, at best, feeling better while possibly surrounding ourselves with Sadhana, nice quotes and beliefs, incense, and countless books on spiritual subjects written by others who themselves have not made the final cut, so to speak.

So Why do I practice yoga? 

I practice yoga simply because I have nothing else to do. Week 7, practice 3 is coming.

Parking ticket


Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky. - Rabindranath Tagore

Tuesday, November 11, 2014 6:45 am the Sun Rising

There is no school who will teach us how to live so that when the time of dying comes, we can say: I lived well; I do not need to live again. Most people die wishing they could live again. So many mistakes committed, so much regrets and a lot of shame... so much left undone. Most of the people dream, but they do not live. They merely gather experience and live in their memory.

But these are "other" people, far away people, these are people who are strangers to me, I should not even mention them... What about me? What about my life?

Last night I did not want to go for a beer night but after couple of text messages with my friends I went there. I stayed for 1.5 hour and I paid a parking ticket. Well I was pissed off. In my life I do what others want me to do. I'm pushed, pulled and influenced by other people so easily, I'm like a leaf on the wind... and I want to change that. From now on I will do only what I want to do. No more pleasing others whoever they might to be: my friends, relatives, girlfriend, coworkers etc.

I often say "yes" when I want to say "no". I do things when I know I don’t want to. I spent my life trying to please people. I tried too hard to be seen as doing “what’s expected of me” and I have this regretful existence. Do I mere exist or do I live? I don't know. But I do know that I'm not obligated to live up to everyone’s expectations. Simply life is under no obligation to give me what I expect so I am under no obligation to give others what they expect.  Period.  

No one knows me better than I know myself. How I seem to others and what I actually are, rarely match.  What other people think of me don't contain the whole truth, which is fine.  So if someone forms an opinion of me based on superficialities, then it’s up to them, not me, to change those opinions.  Leave it to them to worry about.  I know who I am and what’s best for me.

Spirituality is not just transcendental meditation, it is my daily life too and yoga is not just asana practice but the evaluation of my state of being. From now on, before making any commitments or saying yes to requests, I will ask myself - Do I really want to do this? I must be clear on the consequences of saying yes to a request. And, I must learn how to say "no" and mean it. 

In the case I don't see you...


good afternoon, good evening and good night...yeah!

Lucid, with mind unshaken, remain within what is real -  Bhagavad Gita

My Dear Reader

all characters, places and events named in this blog are entirely fictional insofar as my life which I live is entirely fictional...

Maybe you're thinking that I, as a serious ashtanga yoga practitioner, a spiritual seeker on the Path, am supposed to be an example or composure and serenity, a person of exquisite poise and understated elegance radiating love and compassion. Maybe you're thinking I should be beyond or above the range of merely physical human experience, someone who lives untouched by the petty challenges and annoyances of daily life. That's what I was thinking too as I write this and contemplate the difficulties of my present situation.

Things are happening and I'm so worried. My inner balance... what inner balance? If you read my blog so far you already know that my mother is dying of liver cancer. She is getting progressively worse by every passing day. I'm talking with her over the phone every day and after every call I am very much disturbed. And you already know that I have applied for divorce last week, and you know that I was so sad to do that... And you already know that my daughter have started to date ten years older guy... and these are things that you know but there are things that you don't know. I am keeping them for myself. My life is burning and my heart is burning...

Practice, practice, practice and all is coming...

My ashtanga practice is a product of my will and my self-determination. My practice has no reliance on or cooperation with God, teachers, gurus, swamis or any other agent, only authority is my inner self. 

This ashtanga daily practice does not promise me anything, it does not increase my self-esteem, it does not give me self-satisfaction or any self-improvement. I have no assurance of reward in this practice. I don't expect raising, altering, transforming or transcending consciousness. 

There is only practice... physical, sweaty and boring and there is no better place for the practice than here and no better time than now. Week 7 is started... Practice 1 is underway... the Truman show is ending.

My daughter has a boyfriend


Today, I got up at 9 am. I had a coffee and then I did my 6th practice. It was one of the best practice I ever had. I did it alone without any dvd, simple mysore style, with my own breath counts. I was strong, 5A, 5B sun salutations, all vinyasas, 3 wheels... 

After the practice I measured my weight and it is a miracle: 85.5 kg. I have lost 3.4 kg in the last three weeks. The time has come that I start doing stomach crunches. My belly fat will go away, I am sure. I have to continue the same routine.  

The time that I've dreaded has just arrived. My daughter has a boyfriend. He is 10 years older than her and I do not approve the relationship. All day yesterday I was in bad mood thinking about her. I wish her happiness but I am not sure she has chosen the right guy. Or maybe, for me as a father no guy will be the right one. I don't know. My fragile inner peace is greatly disturbed.

As the parent of a 19 year-old girl, I wish I had the answer. But there’s one thing I've decided to stop doing, in the hopes of helping my daughter cultivate a healthy view of herself, I'll not argue with her or raise my voice or anything of this sort. Words — even those I said in jest, mean something. Words have consequences. They shape our worldview. They impact my daughter’s view of herself in ways I don’t even realize.

You may say I’m overreacting. Of course I want to protect my daughter from those who would treat her like an object. Of course I want her to make good choices about who she spends her time with and how close she allows them to get.

Make no mistake: the thought of my daughter dating someone terrifies me. But I’d rather send her into the world with a healthy view of herself than keep her locked away, while she develops her sense of worth. I wish her all the best.