Entering the Song    

As morning grew I felt the excitement of a conscientious schoolchild. Placing two seats, one candle, a voice recorder and reciting my Sa Ri Gha Ma Pa Dha Ni Sa of Indian Classical Karnatika music I was preparing for my music master. Years ago I began Hindustani studies in the Himalayas, albeit a whisper, and fell to a pause until today.
There is a ritual in Kerala to greet the new teacher, a mutual bowing and then into the master’s prayer-clasped hands a blessing of money is passed. On discovering that I knew my seven note scale the master led me into inconceivable combinations and speeds. It reminded me of my audition as a vaguely committed violinist to England’s National Youth Orchestra where I played a piece called, ‘Gallop’ and became speedily out of control to such a pace where I could not stop and yet somehow finished the piece hiccup-free. They unwittingly assigned me to first violins where I had to feign competency by lowering my bow to an inch above the strings and barely playing a sound the year-long. To my joy today, I saw such runaway-train nature as just how creativity is supposed to be. Were I to think about it, the notes at speed would never have been possible, but I discovered that something more direct than my mind was able to hear and repeat. I love song as much as dance. 
Until just now I have been the only guest in this beautiful house of Ayurveda, and just as I surface from my rich aloneness I find a new companion has arrived with a voracious curiosity equalling my own. Everything is appearing on the agenda. And morestill, as the music of the temple quietens I hear this same new one, a talented musician playing and singing on our very balcony. 
The pace has just increased.

Sitting practice    

I love train station platforms. The staccato flutter of pigeon wings, the deep churn of engines, anonymous informative voices from speaker phones, and the overheard conversations of individual realities. Life passes by; arriving, departing, waiting, moving through and on, moving through and on. The platform stays still and constant, and its bench is the most deeply grounding cushion a meditator could ask for. In truth I could satisfy my life’s longing to forever move on into the unknown adventure by simply sitting on a platform, or airport waiting lounge; there really is no need to go anywhere. The deeply treasured excitement of a 16 year old lives inside – memories of leaving alone to travel to french families, university, or around and around the world are stoked and a creative fire burns. And now age 35 this teenager gulps in wise awe that the excitement is here through the most simplest aspects of commuter life. I board the train this morning only traveling a short way home. The view from the window momentarily fools me – a ship at sea?! The driver announces that due to high tides we might experience some waves splashing through the windows! Smiles and laughter like a child who hopes we might get carried out to sea on a magical voyage.. I arrive to my home station and catch a sensed forecast of the mundane ahead. It needn’t be that way. I begin by sitting on the bench, I feel very at home here.


The streets of London carry the scents of cigarettes and traffic dust. I stood by traffic lights in a haze of jet-lagged confusion, staring at the white walking man – now green. Oh yes, this is Britain. Once walking, I noticed I was singing, and moreso that I was dancing with each step. Life has changed. And so, on waiting for my friend, my host, to arrive home and let me in, I danced on the doorstep. The traffic warden joined briefly, then the builder. My friend’s friend arrived, he commented there was somehow more about me than 2 years ago, and I realized that this current cocktail of Leela in London is an entirely different recipe. Phew.

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