[an error occurred while processing this directive] [an error occurred while processing this directive]
I've arrived at the ashram, om shanti. It's a beautiful place of course, tucked in a corner of redneck countryside in some quiet remote hilly area two miles or so down a dirt road. I arrived late last night, driving down the nighttime Interstate and then nighttime backroads, feeling assaulted by the backlit corporate logos set in angry colors designed to jump at me. So after again experiencing the dulling realization that no matter where I go it's still the same damn 20 stores and 20 car models, I got lost as usual and u-turned at a sign warning me to stay out or face the armed guard, and then I parked for a moment on some forsaken stretch of gravel. Soon enough a cop in a jeep shone his landing lights on me, and kept them there while I contemplated the absurdity and considered giving him that most unwise of fingers. I drove away as per his bizarre intentions. It was only 8:00, is there simply no free parking anywhere for any period after dark?
I got so lost I was back in the nighttime corporate sprawl, back in the land of endless stripmalls and their endless parking lots, with me feeling out of place and suspicious. Finally I found the turnoff to the ashram, a dirt road cutting a surprisingly direct path down a steep hill. Each of the three or so ranches I passed had aggressive gates closed tight and mighty at their entrances. When finally I reached the ashram I saw they had a gate too, but thank god it was open. So I parked, closed all the curtains, and spent the night in dear sweet Mavis.
It's now morning, I just finished yoga and some "karmic yoga" (cleaning a car), I'm perched on a hill in my tent. The hill is gorgeous, rolling and covered by thirsty brown grass, and spotted by trees and bird sounds all around. Between the chirps is silence and stillness, not even the wind moves much. And after that glorious morning yoga I can feel even my mind slowing down, or at least becoming manageable. I know if I keep up the yoga I'll eventually quiet so much I'll have nothing to write, but in the meantime I'll let my chatter fill some pages.