1.) Meditation Accessories:
I ordered a zafu (meditation cushion) from Four Gates last week, and it arrived today. I got my first choice of color, Zen Black, and it’s quite tall for a zafu — almost overstuffed. I like it, though. I haven’t given it a full half-hour sit yet, but the ten minutes I’ve spent on it leads me to believe that the days of my left foot falling asleep 20 minutes into a session of zazen may well be over. The novelty of having my own zafu may even get me to practice zazen at home on a more regular basis, which would be helpful in so many ways.
Saturday’s Aikido class left me sore as all hell, both yesterday and today (and probably tomorrow, too). Shoulders, arms, glutes, hams, and quads, mainly. To balance out my stiff soreness, today’s evening exercise was working out (well, I guess you could call it “working out”) with my Yoga for Dummies DVD. Damn, yoga makes me feel good.
My only beef with the DVD is that I’d like to be able to do the practice with the instructor leading, but not explaining every single move. I needed that the first two times I watched the DVD, but I don’t need the explanations anymore; I do want some sort of instructor-led something, though. A happy medium between the super-explainy Basic practice and the bonus Intermediate “sun salute” practice would be nice.
Still, though, I feel awesome. Still a bit sore in places, but awesome overall.
After Aikido on Saturday, Sensei and I sat down and connected for a while. It was very pleasant, and a little unexpected. I sometimes assume that he’s a busy guy with other concerns and lots of stuff on his plate and lots of students senior to myself, and it makes me feel just a little more special to be invited to sit down and chat. Among the things we talked about were my new job, Mormonism, and macrobiotics.
I’m not sold on the idea of going whole-hog into whole foods. I’m still a product of my environment, and I like my convenience foods. Even so, I don’t know much about macrobiotics; as a student of Aikido, though, and in our lineage in particular, it seems highly recommended to at least know what it’s all about. Sensei recommended a book called The Hip Chick’s Guide to Macrobiotics as a very cool and accessible introduction to the subject, so I Googled it. Turns out that the Hip Chick has a website and a blog, which is hip indeed.
Don’t worry: I’m not turning all hippie on you all. There’s nothing weird or counterculture about wanting to a.) be in touch with oneself, b.) not be sore and stiff, or c.) not feel like crap.