RYS 200, 500 - Yoga Alliance, USA
Last night I was sitting at Freedom Café in Laxman Jhula, sipping on a hot ginger honey lemon tea and listening to the musicians playing. Harmonium, tablas, a guitar… all blending together beautifully, creating musical magic.
Strangers, passing through this little town on a longer journey, picking up an instrument and instantly connect with the other musicians… across nations, age and culture, connectivity is established. Beginners are connecting with more experienced musicians and almost instantly improve their performance, as their hands move with speed and boldness over the instruments, confidence growing with every beat.
The spring warmth is slowly returning to Rishikesh after an unbelievably cold winter and with the warmth comes new waves of people from all over the planet. Backpackers, yoga students, meditation practitioners, pilgrims and tourists. New connections, new meetings, new friendships, new romances… Blue sky, green mountains and a greenish Ganga traveling south. Rishikesh is once again ready to embrace the seekers.
Today I spoke with a Danish woman I met recently and the topic haggling came up. She commented that it was easier to haggle in Thailand than in India and I was a bit puzzled… I rarely haggle myself, except with Rickshaw drivers, but her perspective was refreshing: she said she loves haggling, but not because of the few rupees she saves, but because she feels it creates more of an interaction with the person from whom you’re buying. Rather than just handing over 100 rupees, connectivity happens through the negotiation, coming together at a point which hopefully is satisfying for both parties.
But connectivity is a mystery, isn’t it? Why do we connect instantly with some people and not at all with others? Why do we sometimes connect with heart, sometimes with mind and sometimes with spirit… and with some few people through all of those? Some say it is through scents that we connect; scents so sublime that we can’t smell them, but our hormone system can. Others refer to similar brainwave frequencies, aura, past lives or personality… whatever the reason; connectivity happens without effort.
Sometimes there’s a melancholy to the connectivity as well. We touch each others’ lives for a few weeks or months, creating memories which will last a lifetime and then we return to our different worlds. Back to our ”real life” our habits, families, friends, offices… but what is real life? Real connectivity?
Personally, as crazy as my life has been since I moved to Rishikesh in September and through all smiles and all tears… at no time previously has my life felt more relevant than during these months and never before has instant connectivity been this frequent. Yet on the surface, and through the eyes of a performance-obsessed society, it may appear to have been a ”waste of time”. But what else do we have, but time to kill in whatever way we find best?
Today, the inspirational quote which is lingering in the back of my mind is a quote by Charles du Bois:
”The important thing is to at any moment be willing to sacrifice what we are for what we could become” and I think that this is a key to even more connectivity. To be able to instantly re-think, do a mental headstand in a second and see things differently. Pretend to know nothing, drop the prejudices, kick the fears, release the assumption and simply connect.