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Archive for October, 2011
Posted in Camden, Chanting, Community, Meditation, Music, Philosophy, Yoga, tagged Camden, Camden Centre, chanting, Kings Cross, Krishna Das, london, yogic chanting on October 26, 2011| Leave a Comment »
Krishna Das was in town a few weeks ago. Two friends and I snagged the last few tickets. We followed the trail of flowing skirts and mala beads from Kings Cross St Pancras to the Camden Centre to find a rockstar style line. Actually there were two lines. One was for the VIPs; the special guests, studio owners and teachers who had front row tickets, and another line for us plebeians. I chuckled to myself at the incongruence of yogic chanting and VIPs.
We entered the building, settled on three seats together at the middle left of the hall and waited for KD to take stage. Whew, that was hard work.
As the building began to fill, the room became hotter and hotter. The girl in front of me opened a garlicky take out rice and began to eat. We tried our best to hold our collective yogic cool, but everyone was having problems. The girl behind us began to fuss over jackets being hung on backs of chairs and we were all trying our best to try and accommodate one another. The chanting desperately needed to begin.
Finally KD entered the stage with Radhanth Swami, an American Swami whose book, The Journey Home, we had all been given a copy. After some introduction, the chanting began, then stopped so that Radhanth Swami could tell his story. And a big story he had. His tales of love and his times in India were very interesting, but not what the audience had expected from the evening. I tried to pay attention, but the heat was still unbearable and now the garlic was beginning to seep out of the pores of the girl in front of me. Radhanth Swami was describing being stuck on a severely overcrowded train in India where you could not breathe for 12 hours and I made a personal vow always to splurge for first class trains in India. How could I survive that when I could hardly deal with the smells I was encountering now?
Finally Krishna Das took control of the stage and began playing again. It was already too late. One of my friends was in her second trimester and couldn’t take it anymore. We went to the back of the room where a door was left open and ventilation was available.
I am so glad we did because as KD continued to play, we had the freedom to dance, greet others and, well, breathe.
Finally the Kundalini was rising. By the end of the night the group at the back had formed a community, and we were all a little lighter than when we began.
There was a time when my perspective of decadence may have included:
sunny days spent at the pool
a deep tissue massage at an urban spa
a lovely bottle of wine
A good restaurant meal.
But things have changed.
Now, it’s all about a taxi cab ride home.
I love to walk. I have been known to walk everywhere. Aimlessly around cities. In nature on a hike. Home from work or school. I have gone on holidays for the sole sake of it.
But now I mostly don’t have a choice but to walk, I have discovered the luxury of being dropped off at your front door. It’s only an 8 minute walk from the closest tube station, so it seems completely manageable to take public transport through any weather, bad footwear decision or sleep deprived state, but yet I am still tempted over and over again.
I can’t believe that this has come to be my dirty little vice. Perhaps I shouldn’t tell this to people, it makes me feel deathly boring.
Posted in Being American, British Experience, culture clash, Oops, the English language, tagged being American, burlesque, culture clash, English language, note to self, oops, pants, suspenders, trousers on October 6, 2011| 1 Comment »
“Your suspenders look really cute with your pants!” means something totally different in America than in England.
Take care when uttering this phrase to a coworker.