My Brain Colander is my Atman

Pantanjali Statue In Patanjali Yog Peeth,Haridwar

Can't You Just Picture Him With A Colander on His Head?

I am moving out of meditating on Yoga Sutra 1.2 and into 1.3 because I am feeling a shift toward a more inward focused, yet separated, feeling. I am having an easier time lately, in observing thoughts, feelings, and experience as separate from myself. I may not catch them right away, but I am catching the dissonance I feel when I do not listen to my true center. I find that I am most in my center when I am firmly rooted to my feelings, without judgment, and then, I am able to strive for connection to those around me. I may vacillate between the two spaces as I check in on my foundational connection to self and retreat or extend as needed.

This blog is, after all, a form of connection to my core and extended connection to others. I enjoy noting how we all vibe off one another in cyberspace so that related topics often show up in different blogs, as if a larger mind is reifying via the web.

I read a lot. I read online. Even. More. I’m often nursing or snuggling abed with children and my lil powerhouse cell phone lets me surf (although not always comment. Grr!)

My Google Reader, as I have mentioned, is very full. Well over 150 blogs and that is after I pared off what wasn’t serving me. Some blogs have posts every day and much of that is what I would consider filler pieces. To me, they add to the overload of information and distraction instead of adding to the experience of connection and sharing that fundamentally, the internetz is all about.

To use an NVC idea, how would you feel about reading every blog post with the realization that the writer is saying either “Please” or “Thank You?”

A lot of the filler posts out there feel like a scrambling to hold onto readers or statistics or whatever in lieu of connecting content. This doesn’t diminish those fillers. I am not judging whether something is posted mindfully or not. A need being expressed such as, “please hear me” or “Thank you for understanding what I believe” can be served with an evidence-based research article just as well as a stream of consciousness poem about a dream or a simple quote.

I have been wrestling with two questions for this blog:

  1. How often do I need to post to feel connected to my truth at my center and to feel connected to anyone blundering in for a read? (Not a euphemism for site statistics)
  2. How important is content quality versus content quantity? Because, for me, that is an issue. I know that, at least currently, my mind muscle is still pretty flabby. My daily writing isn’t often more than journal-squirming observations.

Amber Strocel is one of those writers that can post six days a week and still churn out mind-sharpening posts. As with most talented writers, she doesn’t give herself enough credit for the quality she can dish out in quantity. She published The Value of Being Not-Awesome at the same time that I was scribbling in my journal in the dark about these questions.

Some good blog posts I read, I have an immediate “yes, this!” or “jumpin’ jehozifat man, I think you’re un-right!” Others percolate around in my brain and wake me at 4am frantically fumbling for my pen. Her post gave me both. I’m not mad at Amber for my losing sleep, of course (or even you, CJ from IP.) I like that I caught Amber’s “not-awesome” connection and my brain-colander sifted this portion of it for this post.

I don’t know if I will achieve anything on this blog that I would consider even remotely not-awesome. Most of it I would term crap, at least for now, but the benefit of the fickle, over-inundated internet is that old posts are quickly shunted in place of the shiny and new (unless I really eff-up. Then it will haunt me forever)

So, now that I’ve got this stuff stuck in my colander aka my Atman, Here’s my answer:

I don’t need to polish my crap until it is shiny and is smooth (and yeah, crap polishing is a thing. Who knew?) But, I need to keep connection with myself and to do that my pen is driven write. Not a tenth of what I scribble in my journal will make it onto this blog, but hopefully that’s the dross and what is left will be worth connecting with.

If a raft of sh*t comes down the blogosphere from me now on, blame Patanjali. He’s long gone, most likely a mythological entity pieced together from many Gurus, and hopefully has no god-like smiting powers for little ole’ bloggers.

Oh, and Please. Thank You.

Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, Sutra 1.3: tada drashtuh svarupe avasthanam

Then the Seer abides in Itself, resting in its own True Nature, which is called Self-realization.

  • tada = then, at that time; at the time of concentration and meditation
  • drashtuh = the seer’s, of the soul, witness, Atman, Self; from the root drsh, which means to see (It is significant to note that Patanjali is not trying to define who is the seer, or the nature of that seer. This is left to be answered or resolved in direct experience.)
  • svarupe = in its own nature, own form  or essence; (sva = own; rupa = form)
  • avasthanam = stability, settling, remaining, being in a state, resting, standing, lying, abiding; the root stha means to stand”

PS: I promise I washed my fingers with soap after writing all these curse words.

PPS: Mark Twain stole my keyboard and left me only the dirty adverbs.

PPPS: Did I drive away enough readers, yet? cf: my first post

5 thoughts on “My Brain Colander is my Atman

  1. Pingback: Please and Thank You « Imperfect Happiness

  2. I really agree with you about Amber Strocel. I’m constantly impressed, interested and inspired by her and every post is well written and well thought out.

    I don’t particularly need daily posts otherwise. I can’t even keep up with her quality ones.
    I also don’t mind nice journal-y posts, especially from people like you.
    Whatever you write about always contains the things I respond too, like nature, spirituality of yoga and the beauty of motherhood.

    Thank you for the Wiki link to NVC and the idea about “Please” and “Thank You”.

    • Thank you for your kind words. Of course, after I wrote this, the dam broke and I have dozens of post ideas. I may end up being a daily blogger after all this maundering. I’m scheduling them out just in case I have writer’s block in the future.

      I love the idea of “please” and “thank you” when applied to all interactions. It diffuses all tension if I approach everything from that perspective. Hmm, another post idea…

  3. I also read Amber’s article on being not awesome. You raise some good questions. I think the answers depend somewhat on your purpose for blogging. When I first started blogging, it was just a means of keeping in touch with my out of town family and friends, keeping them informed of my and my child’s goings on (I don’t do facebook or twitter). Not much thought was put into quality content – I mostly posted pictures and random stories. Certainly as I’ve read more blogs and been inspired, my blog has evolved, and now I frequently put more effort into researching and siting my references when appropriate, reaching out to different audiences depending on the topic, etc. As an attached mom who works full time outside the home, I simply do not have the time or energy to put into posting frequently. I do feel a twinge of blog-quilt if I go too long without posting, so that’s when I resort to pictures or 3 sentence “This is what’s going on with me in a nutshell, get back to you soon” updates. Pretty much as not awesome as it’s possible to get.

    • I also try to remember that Amber has been doing this for awhile. I’ll bet that, for the most part, she can whip out a post pretty quickly by now. I’m still oiling my brain from sticking and it freezes up all the time.

      I’m still not sure about how often or consistently you need to blog. I posted a poll on facebook and the overwhelming responses were “I don’t care how often, as long as it’s good.” I’d hope that people will subscribe in readers if they like a blog, then it truly doesn’t matter how often the posts are. But, attracting new readers, that’s got to be consistent and quality.

      And, I do think pictures, etc, can be quality. It’s all in the intention put forth, right?

I love comments and try to reply to each one. I look forward to connecting with you. Namaste

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