Practice is quieter, that’s for sure. I’m taking myself out of the equation. I’m getting out the way and its taking me wherever it chooses. I’m getting overwhelmed with sensation – I’m easy like that – and I’ll keep coming back for more.

The practice is silently eating ‘me’ up. ‘Me’ – the academic by day (yogi by dawnlight). Though 5am in the city doesn’t really exist. I’m not here, the bodies on the train aren’t here, we’re still in dreams and disrupted sleep. This is some secret hour we stole from the rest of the city, but we won’t ever let on – the ashtangis, night-shift workers, cleaners, baristas – how we see magic in the grimy morning sky over the river.

This ritual expends five hours of the day before I’ve even logged on. The working day shrinks as the kapo tiredness hits me and I spend the afternoons in my subconscious. Its been a little hard to admit that the mornings on my manduka turn me on more than the PhD fieldwork. I made the false assumption that I had to separate the two lives – thats why there’s two blogs: the academic brain and the yoga stuff.

Truth was I was concerned the yoga stuff would undermine my credibility as an academic. Besides it was too personal.

Anyway phew, I’m tired.

What I wanted to collect were some thoughts without a container. Disparate thoughts following a winding conversation on the weekend regarding consciousness, where lies vitality, samadhi, the soul or core self, death and so on.

I’d been unknowingly stifling words by blocking the stream of consciousness that I used to let flow here. It got ugly at times and so I kept trying to pull back. It is within this censoring maybe where my frustration with what I have been experiencing as an incompatibility between my two spaces of daily existence had been bubbling up.

This has manifested in childish bunking off and making rules lax (though this is a good medicine for the active militant in me).

What it is more about is how conflicting it is to carry around these contradictions in models of selfhood, one where the self is integrated within itself, able to present a coherent narrative of oneself, bounded and containing a core. And another self that exists on the surface, integrated with other and all living things, radically relational, and concentrated to the point of silent awareness.

Right now I’m trying to reconcile the two, whilst thinking about the violence that can be done in the name of potential, and being overwrought with sensation that has no place and my vested belief that after death lies nothingness.

Emotions have to go somewhere so the counsellor tells me, so deal with them, complete them else they’ll come back to get you, inhabit you, become you. There’s only so much space and energy that already exists that circulates in and over. So then what do we create? How can we find space? What about encounters that become relations, something is evolving there, being built, a life together. What could feel like bare space becomes so full, so so luxuriously full.

And then a little image from my memory to conclude: A whispered exchange in bed on the nature of consciousness – here is bliss is it not? – and the last thing I uttered before sinking into sleep: “I can only write about sensation, and even then not very well.”


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