Today is a good day to tell a story. I was practicing in the morning, as I do very regularly. Pasha came, as if he appeared magically–I did not see him enter, I simply turned to the front of my mat and saw him sitting there.
He used to do this all the time. And until recently, I always responded the same way. I would gently pick him and move him off the mat. He grew to know that he was not allowed. Sometimes he would just come and put his one paw on the mat and squat down, watching me practice. Sometimes he would choose a nearby chair to sit and watch.
But recently, he became more insistent–some days he has really needed to be on the mat, too. He persisted–even when I picked his sagging, reluctant body off the space and coaxed him away, he tried again.
His will was stronger than usual, so finally I let go of my reasons and changed my mind. I decided that on the days he does this, practice is supposed to be different. Practice is supposed to include him.
It’s not every day. Just some days. And when those days come, we observe a special occasion.
As I’ve practiced around him–jumping through my hands and lifting my feet high to avoid kicking him, stepping delicately around him and leaning over him sometimes very closely–he has remained still and at complete peace.
In his world, I am a giant. He has a soft belly and tiny bones. He has only his nerve and reactions to protect him. Even in these moments, with a huge giant jumping and leaning all around him, he sets all defense aside–sleeps, purrs or just looks into the expanse of the room around him.
In my world, I see something very profound. I see what happens when I stop viewing what comes unexpectedly as a nuisance or something to ‘take care of’ or ‘get out of my way.’ I see that I can set my reactions and even thoughtful response aside. And in doing this, I allow everything around to embrace me closely, as I embrace it–I am a part of everything because I let things be … and moments are so much more beautiful when considering someone else, when sharing with someone else.
We all know this, but the simple demonstration of a soul in a tiny package can wake us up to it more fully.
There’s a magic in this practice–when you temporarily shed your own point of view and take on one that is more collective. You detach and see yourself in the scheme and how you can just blend into it and let everything around you come in snug.
Pasha–my little Love, my magical dove-faced angel. I don’t call him Guru P for nothing.