A Human Experience
There are many shit things that happen all the time.
There are many good things that happen all the time.
It’s called balance, right?
But in all seriousness, doesn’t it feel like we only hear about yucky stuff always?!
So, I’m here to share with you a great human experience I had (on the train, of all places!) just the other day.
I hardly ever take public transport, but recently I’ve been subbing for a class that’s way out east, and my bike-riding legs just ain’t that capable. So, train it is.
After a long ride out, and a great class, I was on my way home, reading my book. I choose to be one of those people who looks deeply like they are doing something in order to definitely NOT have a human interaction.
As I sat there, reading my book, just one guy opposite me, we stopped at a station where another man sat down next to me. The kind of guy who would definitely be pulled aside for a ‘random security check’ at the airport (unjustifiably, of course, but that’s part of the shit things that happen). He started to speak to the man across from me, who had headphones in, because, like me, who the hell wants to talk to random strangers on the train?!
I just assumed they knew each other, but something about the interaction felt like maybe they did not. The headphones guy got off at the next stop, and then said random friendly stranger started talking to me.
He said that my book looked interesting and what was it about?
I am reading Yoga Beyond Belief, one of the recommended readings for my upcoming YTT. I told him it was about yoga’s place in the Western world. I’m only a couple of chapters in, and I had just read about how you never reach an end goal in yoga – that there’s always something more to learn. There are no ‘expert’ yogis.
He told me he was a Sikh, and they have a similar story. In the Sikh religion, there are these hymns, or pieces of music called Ragas. And there is this great singer/musician who knows many songs, and he was asked if he knew the Ragas. He took out his sword and placed it in the lake. He pulled out the sword and watched all the water drain back into the lake until there was only one drop left, and he said, this is how much I know.
I apologise if someone reads that and it’s totally wrong, but that’s how it was told to me, and that’s what I can remember. I loved how it was so similar to yoga. You can know so much about a pose, for example, and then one day you’ll do that same pose that you’ve done over and over, and it will feel completely different. You can never really ‘know’ yoga, and I guess you can never really know the Ragas, either.
My Sikh friend had to get off at the next stop, and replacing him across my seat was a mother and daughter.
The little girl had been a bit grizzly on the train, I had heard her before, but she seemed better now.
I was sitting with one of my legs crossed under the other, and she went to sit the same way. I could see she was copying me. But then her mother grabbed her leg and put her foot on top of the other, so I did the same. “Better,” I said. And she smiled.
Then I grabbed my top foot and brought it up to my head. And so did she.
And I stretched my leg into the air, and she did too.
We were playing yoga.
The people that know me know that I’m not so fond of kids, but I guess something about a random stranger starting a conversation with me in a non-conversational atmosphere, made me feel like interacting with humanity.
We played this yogi-Simon-says until her mom just about missed their stop.
I came home and told Alex I had just had the most wonderful human experience on the train. The train!
So, when shit happens, and it does, remember that good stuff happens too.
It doesn’t take much to connect us, because essentially, we are.