Bali in 21

Style: Hatha & Meditation
Teacher: Jamine Ackert
Studio: Rama Lotus

Warning: Meditation Can Impair Driving. I'm on the highway and I can't keep my eyes open. My destination is Montreal and it's almost midnight. My eyelids weigh a thousand pounds each and the white stripes on the concrete are lulling me into a trance. I'm fighting to stay awake.

A few hours earlier, looking through the Rama Lotus schedule to find a class I could fit in before hitting the road, I saw something new - Hatha & Meditation. Interesting. With a two birds and one stone approach I could get yoga and meditation out of the way in a single stroke. Convenient. The class was divided between Hatha poses, pranayama breath work and a 30 minute meditation. Although Jamine's resonating sense of humour established a super-casual, laid back atmosphere, I admit to feeling moderate terror at the mention of a half-hour pilgrimage through the carnival funhouse of Self. Fifteen minutes is enough of a wrestling match as it is. Closing my eyes and accepting my fate, I center myself in the present and quiet my internal monologue. Time unfolds and evaporates and I feel the same general lack of mental control interspersed with moments of quiet refuge, my attention fluctuating somewhere between incoherence and epiphany. As it happens, thirty minutes wasn't altogether harder than fifteen. After a certain point time ceases to have any influence and everything just is what it is.

Walking out of the studio I felt like I'd been tranquilized. By the time I pulled onto the highway to start my journey I was a drooling zombie behind the steering wheel. I was so utterly relaxed and the fatigue was becoming unbearable. The street crawled out in front of me, weaving its way across the moonlit countryside. The purr of the engine beckoned my consciousness to follow it into an abstract paradise, to leave my body behind and merge with a deafening silence. Eventually I lost my grip on perception and dozed-off traveling 105 kilometres an hour through the crisp night air. Understanding the nature of my peril, I gave myself the Zen face-slap and tried to regain some composure before I veered off the highway into the black forest. Getting off at the next exit I pulled up to the nearest drive-through and disobeyed my prohibition of caffeine. When I saw the signs marking my arrival and the skyscrapers rising on the horizon I thanked everything non-physical for surviving the near-death experience. Soon I'm comfortable and alive at my girlfriends apartment, burrowed in a quiet evening jotting down fragments of thought in a journal as they wander through my imagination. As the city sleeps I let its dreams pass through me and I remain the unbiased observer while the hours fall off the clock like autumn leaves.


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