Last Wednesday, a long term cyber friend became a face-to-face friend. We share a love of yoga and have wanderlust in our DNA. She works for the airlines and turned her extra day in LA into a Kurt-day in Palm Springs. When she arrived, my mom was creating some art in her sketchbook. My mom said, “It is nice to meet you. Kurt tells me that you like yoga. He has tried to teach me, but yoga is not for me.” We continued with some small talk before ditching mom to explore downtown and have dinner.
During the meal, my friend said, “I use yoga to connect to the moment. The postures are physical but the practice brings me into a grounded meditation. When I was watching your mom draw, she was totally using her art like I use yoga.” Throughout the meal, we shared personal stories about how yoga has evolved in our lives. She laughed when I said, “My initial foray into yoga was to firm my ass. India taught me that yoga is much more about extracting my head from that same location.”
Every moment that we were together, we were both present. We were present while observing the guitar player at Starbucks, present while admiring street art, and present while devouring a pablano pepper stuffed with dungeness crab. It was a great evening.
The next day, I shared her comments with my mom and she replied, “That is absolutely correct about my art bringing me into a meditation. That is also why I am enjoying weightlifting. It is all about stopping my mind from wandering into the past and future.”
When I walked my first Camino in 2012, it was a walking meditation for five straight weeks and my first taste of being present. For the past seven years, I have endeavored to find all things that lead me back to the moment. Before the Camino, my mind was always everywhere except in the moment. My time was spent worrying about yesterday’s regrets and then creating creating redemption through future tripping.
Spending time with my new friend was a nice reminder that many roads lead to the moment. Practice keeps me there!