Friday, March 12, 2010

Lakeside Meditations, I & II

Lakeside Meditation I (18 X 24"), sold

Lakeside Meditation II (30 X 40"), Squatmas Collection.

Maribel and I lived and studied at the Sivananda Ashram at Neyyar Dam in Kerala, India for four weeks in 2007, completing the Sivananda yoga teacher training course. The ashram is on the northwestern edge of the very large lake created by Neyyar Dam. On some mornings, the swamis would lead our class on a walk to this open area on the shoreline where we could watch the sunrise. As local families conducted their morning routines on the lake, we would do sitting meditation, satsang, and then walk back to the ashram for tea before our morning session of hatha yoga. Our afternoon yoga session was always very rigorous and was conducted on a shaded platform on the far side of this branch of the lake, over on the left side of this painting. Many of us would swim from there every afternoon before dinner. That was my favorite part of every day, swimming and floating in this healthy, beloved, and tranquil body of bliss. The lake is surrounded by a wildlife sanctuary, complete with uproarious lions, picturesque villages, and the backdrop of a granite mountain range called the Ghats ("steps"). Fish and crocodiles swim about freely, villagers bathe and do their laundry, and the ashram's yogis swim, sing, and meditate. Maribel and I consider this lakeside the most blissful place we've ever had the pleasure of spending time.

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