walk 13: santosha

from the centerSantosha,or contentment, is one of the niyamas, or observances in yoga. Niyamas are one limb of the 8 limbed (ashtanga) practice of yoga. Asana, which is what most Americans think of as yoga, postures, are another one of the limbs.

When I was looking deeply into yoga and attempting to practices the 8 limbed path, santosha always intrigued me the most.  To arrive at contentment seemed to me the most elusive pursuit, and one that I believe would help put so much more into place. Yesterday, surrounded by truly beautiful land and sky, I longed for Long Island. When I was there, I misssed the magnolia trees of the south.

To walk the same labyrinth path over and over is an attempt for me to find santosha, in a practice that is as simple and complex as the pursuit of contentment.

Today is my father’s 79th birthday.  We had such a great celebration for him on the 75th, all his children and grandchildren as well as the woman who would become his wife, his best friend  and a surprise visit from his sister in law. We stayed in Harriman State Park close to Bear Mountain, one of his favorite places on earth.  That was 4 years  ago.  4 years. It feels like yesterday. At the time I was running alot, and competing with myself at all times. There is no competition here.

walk 13: January 30. Morning is the best time to walk the labyrinth. The sun rising in the east aligns with the toadstools at the center perfectly.  Freshly weeded, the contrast of the black path and white rocks is heightened. I was so used to the weeds and enjoyed them.  One tiny maple sapling survived. The more I walk the path, the more attentive I am to each moment, and the walk gets longer instead of shorter.

At work a few minutes later, my eyesight is particularly sharp and the light is so much brighter.

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