She was at the top of the steps when I started to take the photo, but I wasn't quick enough to catch her.
This week I finished reading Consequences - more about that later - and I read The Secret Garden. I'm still reading Eat, Pray, Love. I thought I had to return it to the library because someone else had reserved it but when I took it back they let me renew it.
I'm now reading the Pray section and am really glad that I never decided to go to an Ashram. For some years I too practised Yoga. I was very keen and trained to be a teacher, so I'm very interested in this section of the book. Elizabeth Gilbert certainly had a hard time, adjusting to the ways of the Ashram and struggled with the meditation. The schedule sounds gruelling - the day begins at 3.00am and ends at 9.00pm. There are hours of meditation and contemplation;before breakfast there is an hour of meditation, twenty-minute chanting of the first morning hymn and then the Gurigita, an excerpt from a holy ancient Yogic scripture is chanted. This is 182 verses long in Sanscrit and takes an hour and half to perform. Elizabeth writes
"Over the few weeks that I've been here, my feelings about the Gurugita have shifted from simple dislike to solid dread. I've started skipping it and doing other things with my morning that I think are much better for my spiritual growth, like writing in my journal or taking a shower, or calling my sister back in Pennsylvania and seeing how her kids are doing."
This is one of the things I like about this book, she's down to earth and open about her feelings. It also gives a balanced view. When I taught Yoga I was rather shocked by some people's ideas and attitudes towards it. I was told by some Christians that by doing the Yoga postures you are worshipping "gods" or "evil spirits". I like what Elizabeth says:
"While some of these practices tend to look rather Hindu in their derivation, Yoga is not synonymous with Hinduism. True Yoga neither competes with nor precludes any other religion. You may use your Yoga - your disciplined practices of sacred union - to get closer to Krishna, Jesus, Mohammad, Budda or Yahweh."
"Yoga is about self-mastery and the dedicate effort to haul your attention away from your endless brooding over he past and your nonstop worrying about the future so that you can seek, instead, a place of eternal presence from which you may regard yourself and your surroundings with poise. Only from that point of even-mindedness will the true nature of the world (and yourself) be revealed to you."
Later today I'm hoping to read some more of Les Miserables but as I've started to read Revelation, C J Sansom's latest book, I may continue with that. I'd also like to start reading Oliver Twist because I was watching I'd Do Anything last night - the search for Nancy and Oliver for the West End show. I haven't read this and want to know how Dickens portrayed Nancy.
I don't think I'll manage all this but I'm always wanting to read more.
One last photo showing mysterious tracks round the bird feeder on the front lawn.
Not really mysterious - I think it was one of the two wood pigeons who regularly pay a visit.