Rainy Days are for Books and Tea…

“I will learn from myself, be my own student.  I will learn about myself, about the mystery of Siddhartha.

“He looked around him as though he were seeing the world for the first time.  The world was beautiful, full of colors, strange and enigmatic.  Here was blue, here yellow, here green, the sky was in movement and so was the river; the forest was fixed in place and so were the hills–all beautiful, all mysterious and magical.  And in the middle of it all was Siddhartha, the awakened one, on the path to himself.  All of it, all the yellow and blue, the river and the forest, entered Siddhartha for the first time through his eyes.  It was no longer the magical deception of Mara, was no longer the veil of Maya, was no longer the meaningless and arbitrary multiplicity of the world of appearances contemptuously derided by deep-thinking brahmins, who scorned multiplicity and sought unity.  Blue was blue, river was river, and even if in the blue and the river the divine and the one were alive in Siddhartha in a hidden way, it was still the divine way and intention to be yellow here, blue here, sky here, forest here, and Siddhartha here.  Meaning and essence were not somewhere behind things, they were in them, in them all.

“How deaf and dumb I have been! thought the traveler moving quickly along his way.  When one is reading a text whose meaning he is seeking, he does not scorn the signs and letters as deceptions, accidents, and worthless husks; rather he reads them, he studies them, he loves them, letter by letter.  But I was trying to read the book of the world and the book of my own being, and because of my preconceptions I scorned the signs and letters, I called them the deception of the world of appearances, I called my eyes and my tongue arbitrary and worthless phenomena.  No, it is over now!  I have awakened, I have really awakened, and have only today been born!”

Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse, trans. Sherab Chodzin Kohn (this month’s book for yoga class)

And one more thing: peppermint tea, almonds, raisins, brown rice.

I love these mornings of solitude, of books, of simple chores around the house, of writing, of– learning from myself, learning about myself, being my own student.


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