I planned on going to class. First in the morning, but I couldn't wake up, and when I did, I still had the headache I had when I went to sleep. Then in the afternoon, and I was on my way to class, but the headache, which had gone away for a few hours, returned with a vengeance. It was bad enough that I didn't think I would even make it through pranayama. So I took Sunday off as well.
That's two days in a row again, and I was feeling very guilty about it. But then, my knee thanked me. It made tremendous progress with the extra day off, and now its almost back to normal. So maybe the screaming headache was trying to tell me something.
I think the day 236 meditation is really funny. Gates says that yoga seems to present us with a "bewildering array of practices and priorities." But, he assures us, the truth is much simpler. We just need to focus our attention on relationships and bring the yamas and niyamas to our relationships. Which relationships? As examples, he mentions our relationship to our breath, to the bottoms of our feet, to the ant crawling across the kitchen floor, to our families, to God. And it's with the examples that I laugh. Yes, its simple, but it doesn't seem to me to be any less bewildering. In short, we need to focus our attention to every relationship we have to every single thing no matter how big or small, no matter how concrete or abstract. That's a whole lot of attention to focus...
I'm not saying I disagree with him on this. And in concept, I suppose it is fairly simple. But it also strikes me as enormously daunting. I'm not sure that a focused mind could really concentrate on each and every relationship individually. Maybe that's where surrendering and becoming one with things comes into play. You try so hard to focus on all of those relationships that eventually you have to just give up, and let go, and perhaps that's where it all comes together. Or maybe its possible to develop a much more focused mind than I have.
The point that I think is very interesting is his insistence that learning this focus is connected to our time on the mat. And here, I basically see the point. We focus intensely on ourselves, and ultimately we should be coming more aware not just of an individual part of the pose, but of the pose as a whole. And I can see how that development of increasing awareness might expand even further outward. So, I can see the direction that he's pointing in, but the destination strikes me as being way over the horizon, at least for me.