Lauren can put her leg behind her head. She can only do this because she does it many times a week – many times a month – many times a year. And she has done this for many years. She does not truly know why she does this; it has never become an easy thing to do. She followed her guru’s instructions, though he spoke no English. She followed his directions, though at times he seems disinterested in her. She follows him still, though he is no longer of flesh. She still hears him in her head.
Some days her body is simple – her mind is complex. Some days her body is complex – her mind is simple. This is her journey. Every day she swims, sometimes with the tide, sometimes against the tide. This is her life. Her practice has become her gauge.
Lauren does not like the dark. She cannot see in the dark as those big-eyed fish in the deep oceans do. Sometimes Lauren is in the dark. She does not like the dark. Lauren can put her leg behind her head. It helps her escape the dark. Her Guru says life is simple – said; life is simple. Lauren had, has her doubts. Guru laughs, freely, like a child. Life was never simple, life is never simple, but she heads towards the light, and on some days she too laughs, though not as freely as her Guru.
Lauren can hold her breath, her breath in, and her breath out. Holding her breath in, or her breath out, brings stillness into her mind, calming the waves. It brings stillness to every single cell of her body. Life can be simple, and sometimes, even beautiful.
Lauren has been learning Greek. Her favourite verb is εἰμαι. Εἰμαι translates as ‘I am.’ Her favourite Sanskrit mantra is ‘So ham.’ It can be said to mean ‘I am that.’ She breathes out with the sound of ‘soooo’ in her mind, and she breathes in with the sound ‘hummm,’ also in her mind. These are also the natural sounds of the breath. When reversed, the mantra becomes ‘Ham sa,’ it is said to mean, ‘that I am.’ This is a helpful mantra for Lauren.
Even when she is in the darkest ocean, where only the fish with big eyes can see, she knows that light is sure to follow. She just has to be patient, put her leg behind her head, and breathe.
I originally posted this on the ‘Visual Verse’ website. I have edited it slightly from that version.