As with all of Kino's workshops, she shared a wealth of information and insight (not to mention unforgettable Guruji impersonations) during both sessions. I am really too beat to share everything here (as if that's possible anyway). But I'll just say that this morning's led primary totally kicked my ass. You know, I'm embarrassed to say this now, but before this morning, I had actually thought that I was pretty "good" at the primary series... Well, let's just say that Kino showed me a few interesting things about primary this morning. For instance, do you know that if you hold Mari C for a few Kino-length-breaths (she would typically count "1", then interject an entire commentary on some aspect of the pose in question, then count "2", and interject some commentary on some other aspect of the pose, and so and so forth, till we finally get to the blessed "5"), the arm that is doing the grabbing in the bind will feel so sore that it feels like it's going to fall off? Or that it is possible to take these really, really long breaths in the finishing padmasana in which the inhalation seems to last forever, and the exhalation also seems to last forever?
With all this in mind, it would perhaps be wiser from now on for me, in Kino's words, to "remain broken". i.e. to not think that you have "got it", but to be in a perpetual state of being aware that no matter how "good" or "advanced" you think you are at this or that series or this or that pose, you are "never good enough." Not "never good enough" in a bad or disparaging way, but "never good enough" in the sense that there is always something on the horizon to aspire towards and to challenge ourselves with.
You could also say that I kind of feel like that chick pea in that famous Rumi poem. I'm not a big Rumi fan, but I really think that particular poem hit the nail on the head as far as what I am feeling now is concerned. Oh, in case you don't know what poem I'm talking about, here it is:
Chickpea to Cook
A chickpea leaps almost over the rim of the pot
where it's being boiled.
"Why are you doing this to me?"
The cook knocks him down with the ladle.
"Don't you try to jump out.
You think I'm torturing you.
I'm giving you flavor,
so you can mix with spices and rice
and be the lovely vitality of a human being.
Remember when you drank rain in the garden.
That was for this.
Eventually the chickpea
will say to the cook,
"Boil me some more.
Hit me with the skimming spoon.
I can't do this by myself.
The cook says,
"I was once like you,
fresh from the ground. Then I boiled in time,
and boiled in the body, two fierce boilings.
My animal soul grew powerful.
I controlled it with practices,
and boiled some more, and boiled
once beyond that,
and became your teacher."
Ah.... may I always be a chick pea that is burning with the desire to be boiled some more, so that the flavor of the practice may seep into the depths of my being and make me more and more delicious...
Speaking of delicious, I am quite hungry now. Thus I shall presently sign off, and scour the City of Angels for some angelic grub. More later... Oh, I almost forgot something else. The picture below was just posted on Kino's Facebook page. It shows all of us taking rest, lying in post-led-primary bliss:
If you look at the second row from the front of the room, at the sixth body from the door, you will catch a glimpse of the boiled chickpea in question.
[Image taken from Kino's Facebook page]