Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Teaching to Transgress

Have been reading a lot lately in Dharma Art by Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, the man who started Shambhala International ( in North America. He says, again and again, that there is no way to teach people contemplative arts. Just to provide ground on which the arts can grow, disappear, and come again. I have known throughout this whole process that I am not really "teaching" - I call it "facilitating" but its not even that. More like holding the space.

I went on a 24 hour retreat this last weekend, and was stunned, especially in the face of some pretty traumatic conversations recently with one of my brothers, to witness myself being so clear. Clear after a ton of sitting in which I thought I was being the farthest thing from clear, in my mind. Clear about what others were saying, what I was saying, about the nature of saying anything. I have now committed to move forward on a Shambhala Warrior Training course - five levels, five weekends over a few months, as to dedicate myself to this path. Also, in a couple of weeks I go out to the San Francisco area to convene with LiP members and to get trained in contemplative photography teaching ( for teacher's website). It is clear I am making choices in a specific direction. No pressure. I will keep going forward. It feels good to be on a path, very natural. Finally. Scary but clear.

In the end, I want a teacher. I thought I wanted to go back to grad school, but now I am pretty sure My Goal is to become an indy instructor, and find time in that schedule (much easier than the retail one) to study with a) Natalie Goldberg and b) a Shambhala "teacher" - my OWN teacher, too. I am not sure yet whom. I crave having the guidance of a "teacher". The intimacy. Yet outside of a "school-like" situation.

So moving forward. Clear. Lots of crying lately. Lots of laughter. Lots of rain.

I love fall. I really do. Reminds me that despite being a homebody, I really do love change. I am terrified by it, but I have a serious affection for it. Almost a clinging to it. Hang on!

Friday, September 23, 2005

A Friday Which Could Have Been a Sunday

All day, it has been raining. The rain blurs out my mind as if it were a non-entity.

I lost my job. And I did now even understand when. Actually, I am not supposed to know what happened. This sort of thing always makes me feel bad. I was doing good work for the organization, I had good plans for them, I wasn't charging them too much. I was offered a part-time job after three months of consulting. And then nothing. Nothing. Shhh. I feel lost (for a week at least) after something like this happens. I allow myself.

Today that week is over.

My BA (correspondence) has finally begun! If all goes well, in three years I get a degree. Then I plan for my masters more realistically.

All of today was spent researching on "social software". A small group of people is trying very hard to get more and more in touch with each other. Eventually everyone will feel so hassled there will be a deluge - mass introversion?

Am working on three things in the next three months. Start my services company (to be called "qualiflower"), to initiate a self-help group for artists in ahmedabad (to be called "greenroots") and to move ahead with my film.

A week's break - with manju and rachel - will be good. Getting out of Ahmedabad just to relax - a real vacation! - will be fun.

Missing therapy. Got a mail from one of my old therapists! He is in London, studying further. Can't seem to find someone anymore. Am totally isolated - friends just call up to take numbers of other friends. No one has anything to talk to me. Do I frighten people?

Missing good weather, missing being oblivious to the future, to a formula. Missing being immersed in beauty, having no words to say.

Sunday, September 11, 2005


Had a very good and very thorough conversation with another bisexual at work yesterday, following on the tails of a few conversations with many collective members about whether or not our store is a "true" collective.

I realized "the other" in a way I feel my anthropology courses in college both attempted to realize to me and also shielded in some way (after all, the "other" is a major component of anthropological study, so it is a threat to think of eliminating it).

I realized, when asked about why I "still" sleep with men, that I need to gender division - and addition - in my life to keep my own sense of self challenged.

I cannot just be with women. Of course this is a preference which goes far deeper and wider than my intellectual musings, but the musings do reflect something for me about my actions: why this "lifestyle" continues despite a great deal of difficulty in explaining it to most people - especially other folk in my ostensibly "inclusive" Lesbian Gay Bi Trans community, which I now basically avoid.

And I have, strangely enough, taken on a similar isolation at work, surrounded by folk I suspect will not actually come through with promises of community, and instead I am terrified of asking of them what I want from them.

It should come as no surprise that I did not find that kind of support in my family, nor have I learned to foster it yet with my family members who remain.

And finally, the great adder/divider. The coin of both sides: rage. The way I am joined to myself through some anger that makes the "me" who's body is not even the same after 28 years seem the same. The way I join moment to moment. And yet, the way I divide myself from each moment as it happens, making of a memory every minute passing. Obviously, it is a divider between myself and others, too.

Saddened by all of this distance from others and intimacy with my own crap, I went to meditation. I sat and saw it all come and go and come and go and, there is some relief. Came home to This American Life with stories straight out of New Orleans and couldn't even cry about that. But there again was some modicum of bizarre relief. Bit by bit I am cracking the code or the hard case that I have kept between myself and others for years. My stomach yearns for a breakout, for a bridge, for me to let down my guns. My body sneaks free when it can.

And when it does my heart can usually follow, in addition.