Practice Woes In Coldland
Currently I am on a military deployment in Poland. Temperatures here thus far have been mostly warm/hot during daytime hours, with cold winds in the early mornings and at nights. My priority since arriving was to locate an isolated area for practice. Which I initially failed to do, since I was reluctant to practice outdoors with cold temperatures. Within a few days, a group from my unit were transferred from tents to a hard-stand building with a 4-person college dorm room set up.
After relocating, I found an area which appeared perfect. It was almost soundproof with thick walls, fire/smoke containment doors, and large windows for fresh air circulation. It was an ideal shelter for practice in comfort and away from the natural elements I admonish. The following morning, practice began in earnest, with a consistent daily session beginning between 3:30am and 4am. There were minor disturbances by other soldiers who entered and questioned my early morning activities. They too had discovered the room and wished to privately speak with their families in it. Due to time zone differences, it is quite common to find others awake at that time.
2 weeks elapsed, and we were ordered to relocate back to the outdoor tents. One Higher-ranking officer decided that he should be assigned a room by himself. As a result, the members in my room were removed due to having lower ranks. With concern for practice in mind, I became mentally critical of the decision. A couple of days later during a session, a memory of Madhva’s writings in the Invision Series resurfaced. Those thoughts related to the situation as follows: “This is like being relegated to a lower dimension because the psyche does not qualify to remain in a higher locale. For instance, the subtle head may be purified, causing the subtle body to ascend somewhere higher. But if other parts of the subtle body remain impure, those parts would upend the psyche’s ascent, causing it to be temporary. My psyche must be trained to accept these features of nature, without criticism for the entities who serve as her agent.”
Mental adjustment to the tent occurred almost immediately. The conditions were perceived as a reminder of my assigned value by nature. There is an estimated 40+ people in it, and service members associate to endure the “suck” (struggles) collectively. Being isolated is frowned upon and viewed as a cause for concern. Eating together is customary, and one is approached, if seen by himself at the table alone. Thus far it has been a challenge for me to reduce association.
Conditions in the tents are livable. However, it stinks, contains days' worth of trash, dirt, stale clothing and insufficient fresh air ventilation. The circumstances are not exactly ideal for yogic friendly astral activities. Which of course has resulted in multiple recent astral experiences in lower dimensions.
As for my previous practice concern, an isolated outdoor location was discovered some distance from the living area. By the order of fate, I was compelled to embrace the unpalatable cold winds, or forego the practice for warm covers. I take it as an opportunity to address a “weakness” in the psyche. Additionally, protective measures such as wearing extra layers of clothing and neck garments are worn to safeguard the body from illnesses.
The current practice momentum will also have to be leveraged as temperatures begin to drop further in the coming months. I am hopeful that my intolerance for cold temperatures will wane during this time. In the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna is quoted as saying the following:
Excerpt from Michael Beloved’s Bhagavad Gita Translation:
tāṁstitikṣasva bhārata (2.14)
mātrāsparśāḥ — mundane sensations; tu — but; kaunteya — O son of
Kuntī; śītoṣṇasukhaduḥkhadāḥ = śīta — cold + usna — heat + sukha —
pleasure + duḥkha — pain + dāḥ — causing; āgamāpāyino = āgama —
coming + apāyinaḥ — going; ‘nityās = anityāḥ — not manifested continually;
tāṁs — them; titikṣasva — you should cope; bhārata — O man of the
O son of Kuntī, mundane sensations which cause cold and heat, pleasure and pain, do come and go. Cope with them, O man of the Bharata family. (2.14)