Anyone check out the full-pager in this month’s Yoga Journal:
Let me get this straight. According to “Solstice in Times Square“:
Anyone can find tranquility on top of a mountain.
Let’s think about that.
I’d like to see anyone, let alone some “yogini” who can barely squeeze in two hour-long “restorative” classes a week between her Liquiteria fixes, last ten minutes on top of a mountain. Most people I know can’t last ten minutes on the toilet without having a heart attack ’cause so-and-so didn’t “Like” their latest post on Facebook, let alone hang out on top of a mountain reconciling that well-nourished inner demon they so skillfully hid between the folds of their small intestine. I guarantee you, the second that last Sherpa peaces out and leaves your white ass with a bucket—a BUCKET—to eat out of, you’ll be down that mountain faster than you can say “I secretly dream about having Tantric coven sex with John Friend.”
In fact, the whole concept of “finding tranquility in Times Square” is both irrelevant and disingenuous. First, anyone who’s actually had the pleasure(?) of spending five minutes people-watching during Fleet Week knows exactly how to find tranquility. New Yorkers are professionals at tuning out the 5am “You’re gonna burn in Hell” subway screamfest while reading The New Yorker. We’re frickin’ champs at maintaining one-pointed pratyaharic “withdrawal of the senses” when we end up on a subway car where a homeless man has decided to emit that classic bouquet of “sour rotting putrid fecal foot” stench we are all so accustomed to. We’re New Yorkers for God’s sake! We deal with this shit on the daily.
But worst of all is what a yoga-as-facade commercial venture such as this (and this is a commercial venture) seems to imply: that the chaos of this city is caused by some force other than that caused by the participants themselves. Truth is, the very people who will be attending this event—you, me (nah), them—are the same people who prop up and maintain the very insanity they wish to meditate through. As a New Yorker—as someone who participates in and benefits off of the “freneticism” of New York City—we, by our simply living and working in the city, are the very insanity we so arrogantly want to avoid. In short, we are the chaos.
Knowing this to be the case, it comes across as slightly sad to see chaos itself pretend to be the silent mind, knowing full well that practicing yoga asanas in Times Square in an effort to display some sense of inner calm ends up simply being an act of public self-gratification—a form of guilt-driven masturbation. It’s like buying up a $6.6 million mansion and then expecting people to be impressed when you mow the lawn. That just ain’t gonna cut it.
Our suggestion: just calm down with all these acts of yogic “endurance.” From the looks of it a lot of y’all started practicing yoga last month….
And, that’s great! We’re genuinely psyched that the yogic tradition has found a way into your heart. But remember, your ability to float with impeccable silence in a toilet of your own making does not a dharana yogi make. Most likely it’s a manifestation of your slippery self, eager to remind the world of its existence.
So, as far as we’re concerned, you’re better off splitting a concealed beer with a friend while watching the wonder that is Fleet Week 2012 descend onto the streets of Times Square. Who knows? Find the right sailor, and you might find yourself in a state of nautical absorption. I’d take that over some lame form of commercial samadhi any day.
Non sibi sed patriae! Ahoy!