Yesterday I fell in love with life on the corner of 24th St & Bartlett, and did so almost entirely with my eyes closed. Breathing in, and breathing out.
At 8:00 am, I put my yoga mat and meditation bench in the window display of a storefront on the corner and began a day of practice. Nothing’s for sale in this store!
As an instructor of yoga and meditation, one’s practice is always visible, even if not consciously on display. I’m grateful to the practice as refuge — the space that’s protected yet not defended, grounded yet receptive — in every moment.
Something’s always happening in San Francisco, and most passers-by barely give a glance. (Or if they do, I don’t give a glance, deepening inward practice. Apparently, several people I knew stopped by. Were you there?) Nothing to see here… move along, move along.
I hear their voices, though. Especially the kids, with enthusiasm: “Look! She’s doing yoga in the window!”
The sound scape reveals the layered life of the neighborhood. Patterns of footsteps. Rush of rain, with mariachi in the morning. Trucks. Bottles clinking. Strollers. Skateboards. Afternoon sunshine has a temperature and sound… the-ere’s nothin’ wro-ong, with mee-ee lovin’ yoo-oou… Conversation fragments, laughter. In bright stillness, I hear and feel and smell and know the movement of the street. Breathing in, breathing out.
Of it all: pleasant, unpleasant, neutral. Inner experience just as varied and changing. Hot, cold. Dry, moist. Inward, outward. Showing, hiding. Performing, embodying. Eyes open and a big smile, I sing a heart song and feel the deep breath of grace.
With the clarity and spaciousness of a precious day of practice in the middle of the city. Breathe in, breathe out.