The day before yesterday my younger son and I went next door to use the neighbor’s pool. Or rather I went to watch him play in the water. As I watched him cavorting, my attention was drawn to the surface of the water. The late afternoon sun of early fall was already starting to set, and my son’s playful movements turned the reflections of sky and trees into Monet’s “Water Lilies.”
I ran to get my camera and spent the next 30 minutes capturing molten gold and swirling purples. When my memory cards filled up, I began to notice the mosquitoes and hauled my protesting son from the pool. As he showered the chlorine from his hair, I sauted garlic, ginger, chilies, and curry paste. I put cardamon, milk, and rice into a pot. Later that night we had chicken curry and kheer, an Indian dessert.
This morning I went to yoga and somewhere between “bridge” and “plough,” I found myself thinking about my changing attitude. In ballet class, I suspect, I’ve always tried to achieve what I thought was the goal, the end position. Often by hook or crook, which is to say, by taking shortcuts, the “easier” way. Now, in yoga, when I find myself struggling with a pose, I deliberately stop myself from going to where it is easy for me, from “cheating.” Instead I try to feel my way along the “right path.” Today in class it seemed to me that the goal in fact has never been to “arrive,” but that is has always been the struggle itself.
You cannot be on the path, says the Buddha, until you have become the path.