Tuesday, July 6, 2010

yogaspeak, meditation & GUITARS

2 of my favorite guitar players were under one roof on saturday.  this is john mooney who learned delta style blues from son house and combines it with the new orleans second line.  i think he is one of the greatest living slide guitar players.  i have blogged about him before.  i never miss him if i'm in new orleans or if we are lucky to have him come to chicago.  i guess he was added last to the festival. he was on the finale of treme.   a lot of people do not know about him.  that's how new orleans musicians are.  they are pretty much known by the locals, by lovers of nola or europe.  he finally has a website you can go to above.  he's been at it over 30 years.

dave alvin, who is exactly the same age as john (55) and a scorpio like me, is the other one.  i've seen him play with "the knitters" several times (basically X without billy zoom, who he replaced in X when billy left) playing country & rockabilly, "the guilty women" an all girl country band & finally the blasters with his brother phil, who is an awesome front man.  i got all gussied up which kind of proved a bit disastrous.  i decided to pull out my 4 inch vinyl black & white wedgies (so i could see over the crowds cause i'm short) & put on {{{gasp}}} some eye makeup, which i haven't done in over 20 years.  i still had the same makeup from back then & low & behold, now i have an eye infection!  i deserve it.  AND my vintage shoes decided to melt in half as soon as i got to the festival.  thank god the colonel suggested keeping the ugly sandals in the car "just in case" those tall shoes would begin to hurt a few hours into the show.  so i ended up looking like a red-eyed slob.  oh well.  the fantasy is all in my head anyhow so i guess it serves me right.


i am trying to make an effort with yoga speak.  just because i know most of you could give 2 shits about the music & other stuff i write about.  i have, after being away from classes for over 2 years, started practicing with old friends once a week who are also teachers.  i did not think i ever wanted or needed to do that again, & part of the reason is that i am extremely sensitive to the group in which i participate. although i can tollerate anything, many thing's i would rather not.  the group is "invite only" for a reason.  i have never felt like i have fit in anywhere i have taught except my original yoga studio, which i still call by it's old name N.U. chicago yoga center.  this group is composed of other's who i've known for 14 years-since i began doing yoga.  & they all come from N.U., which was here in chicago long before the other ones.  even though i ran the mysore programs 6 days a week at 3 other studios, i never felt a community bond with it.  i always felt like an outsider.  that's just my personality, which is why there are so many studios to choose from.  if you are trying to find a studio to learn in, the most important thing is not location.  it's how comfortable you feel. because yoga is very personal & if you share it with others, they better be the right people.  the energy gets more important as time goes on because the longer you do yoga, the more sensitive you become.  you can pick up on very subtle things & absorb them.

meditation dilemma
the last thing is this.  i am a firm believer in following ONE path-for yoga, obviously it's always been astanga.  i have not picked between 2 forms of meditation & i have 3 days to figure that one out.  do i go back to my vipassana (i have to take off 5 days in august for another silent retreat) or do i return to my original method-the japanese zen buddhist meditation.  both are great, one is more accessible.  meaning there is a good place nearby that has been highly recommended by friends whose opinions i respect-ancient dragon zen gate.  in vipassana, they strongly discourage mixing techniques.  i can not go to a zen temple & use my vipassana technique.  or vice-versa.  i'm really not sure what to do.

can any kind soul out there give me some constructive advice?  i know ultimately it's my decision, but it IS hard to meditate alone ALL of the time, which i would not have to do if i choose to switch back to the zen technique.  nor would i have to take off 5 days of work.  however, being on a farm away from home in a silent environment meditating 10 hours a day is highly effective.

i'm hoping the answer will come to me in some kind of sign.


Brooks Hall said...

Hi! I do have an opinion!! Take it or leave it, as suits you--of course!

Try out the Ancient Dragon, see if it fits for you! Maybe make the decision after trying it...

I like that I can integrate the group sittings into my life much easier with this great center in my neighborhood.


Anonymous said...

Key word for me would be "accessible" and I think tht's inportant to note. Vipassana is great but does it serve you day to day if you don't have a community surrounding you to continue?

Just a thought...I think a sangha is important.

bindifry said...

thanks SO much both of you. there's a 7am sitting at the dragon tomorrow. i was thinking of going. i have until friday to make the final decision. i like the recovery sittings they have as well as all the talks, which you don't get with vipassana. only goenka on film.