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Wednesday, April 12, 2006


Wednesday evening. Yoga again. And also: rain again. As if it was part of the lesson. Part of the drive, of the atmosphere. I park the car, walk through the floor of the parking house. Look for a certain poster at the entrance. It’s still there, holding a poem of an ice bear who is walking through a palace of green ice. I don’t know how often I have passed those 4 lines without noticing them. Then one day I saw them, and stopped in mid-step, taken by surprise. Read the lines, and then recited them, first to myself, then to the others who waited in front of the yoga room:

Der Eisbär prustet und erklimmt
Den Eisberg, der im Wasser schwimmt
Und schreitet, groß und stark und weiß
Durch den Palast aus grünem Eis

The ice bear splutters and climbs over
The iceberg that swims in the water
And parades, great and strong and white
Through the palace of green ice

But back to yoga. The room, it is so well known that I woulnd't be able to tell the room number on the plate next to the door. It’s just the yoga room. Only that today, our teacher changed the pattern of the mats, and so everyone sits in another place, looking at our teacher who is happy as a cat about the slight confusion she caused. “See,” she says, and smiles, waiting for us to see.

Then she explains: “It’s the same room, but now you see it in a different way. This is because there are different levels of seeing. We see with our eyes, but to a bigger part, we see with our brain. And our brain tends to see things the way it used to see them. And doesn’t see things it doesn’t know, or it can’t relate to.”

Then she gets up, and turns the black board. There is a question on top of it: “Where do we see?” Beneath the question, she writes some words in Sanskrit, yoga terms that relate to the levels of seeing.

Manipurna – the physical level of seeing
Ajna – the understanding of what we see
Sahasrara – the ability to see everything

“The third one is for the experts,” she says and smiles again. “It’s symbol is a flower of 1000 petals. It equals the level of enlightment, and unfortunately isn’t part of the course.”

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