Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Mysore nocturne to aubade

At night Mysore has sounds that are completely new to me. At around 9 pm the dog sounds begin. Mostly this is ferral dogs arguing about territory and hierarchy. It is only occasional as one dog gives another one a warning and perhaps a fight starts. Later, around midnight, the pack seems to have worked out its internal squabbles and they start running around in groups chasing pigs. Later there will often be a blood-curdling pig scream. If a dog gets separated from the pack, sometimes he will howl. They don't seem to howl when together as wolves do. About two hours before morning the monkeys start yelling, "Whup! Whup Whuuuup! Whuuuup!" And the nightingale-type birds (but not nightingales) start calling. Then, when dawn breaks several birds announce and discuss this at length.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am thinking of heading to mysore to further my practice, but am not sure whether to study in main shala or opposite the shala with Sharath. Do you get many adjustments in the main shala? is it packed? May i ask shether you could ask Sharath if it's poss to study with him (not in main shala)? I've never traveled alone before and am a bit scared.

10:18 PM  
Blogger Matrika said...

Well, Sharath is a little bit of a mystery. He will be traveling starting August 1. In general it seems, Sharath and Guruji commit to their traveling schedule but when the Shala is open and who is there can vary. Pinning them down when they have not decided comes across as impolite in this culture.

I came here in mid-May expecting that Sharath would not be teaching at all until January because of a back injury. I was pleasantly suprised that he was teaching at the main Shala. I do not think he is doing any of his own classes now - or it is being done very quietly... and perhaps his not doing his own classes was what was meant by his not teaching until January.

How packed the Shala is varies. In general, the primary led classes are full; sometimes very full. One does not go to a second led class until one is "split to second" which means have been moved on to about half of the primary in their Mysore practice. No one, not even a person practicing the third series at home, goes beyond doing the primary series their first time at the main shala - for at least a month. So, if you an advanced second (do the whole thing) or third series practitioner with several months to spend in Mysore, you will move on to less crowded classes after a couple months...

If a lot of adjustments are currently an important part of your practice - the Shala may not be the best place for you. Some people here go to Sheshadri's shala for a month or two before going to the Shala. He resticts his Mysore classes to no more than 12 students and always has an assistant. He adjusts a lot, with strenuous adjustments that must be hard on him. It is also a good group of students.

Once you go to the main Shala, Guruji will have you sign something that says you will not study with anyone else while you are in Mysore - so - to not violate that agreement, you would have to go to Sheshadri first on your trip....

About traveling... the Shala area is a rather sheltered environment. Also, you can get a car to pick you up at the airport and you can arrange to room with other students with Murthy who runs the bookstore. This rapidly means you are no longer alone.

2:41 AM  

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