July 6th, 2010

If The Shoe Fits

By Eka Ekong

I was having one of the days, I often dream about. I was able to practice, teach, and spend time with good friends. I felt light, I felt happy and peaceful. There was a little spring in my step, and an enduring smile on my face. I had some free time in the evening, so I decided to stop in for a meditation with my beloved teacher. She had been chanting the Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra every Monday night. I went to the chant, and when I left, I felt energized and a wave of peace washed over me. I said good night to the front desk staff, and I walked to the shoe rack to put on my shoes. “ Hmm.. I’m pretty sure I left them here.. Maybe they are behind another pair. No, wait. Okay…I think my shoes are gone.” I was a bit stunned that those words even entered my mind, but there I was Birkenstock-less and confused.

I left my information with the front desk staff, and began my walk back to my car, au naturel. So many feelings overwhelmed me-anger, fear, sadness, disbelief. After arriving home, I promptly washed my feet, and I was surprised at how upset I was about what happened. I mean they’re just shoes. I realized I had an attachment to my shoes, beyond their price tag. They represented my taking care of myself, my holding space for my health and wellbeing. It took a minute, but I remembered that at the end of the day, they are just shoes. I am still the same yogini with or without them.

This experience was an opportunity for me to practice presence to each moment, and vairagya, detachment to temporal objects. I mean how often do we leave yoga class, and we talk about how present we are, but we walk the same walk? This experience reminded me to be present to my actions in this life, but non-attached to the fruits of these actions. I will walk mindfully on my journey, whether barefoot or in my favorite shoes, and remember that each breath creates a new opportunity to be here now.

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