Friday, March 16, 2007

Yoga, and the many paths to truth

"The blog phenomenon with it's multi centred truths and denial of mainstream knowledge could destroy the whole possibility of truth."

So contends my father in this, his first 'mainstream' online appearance. It's funny and very British, and very Jewish, and very him.

I have two immediate responses to this paradoxically erudite and Luddite (yeah, let's wreck those printing presses) outburst:

I know he doesn't 'approve' of post-modern, relativistic modes of thought and contends that 'one 'must take positions' on 'issues' or ideas. Indeed. Without firm points of reference in life where would we be. The problem is obviously that if one relies on 'authorities in order to give the view we're expressing some validity' then surely it becomes very difficult for anyone to transcend the current hegemonic ideology, for those who cite sources not accepted as authorities see their views denigrated and denied. Seems that Foucault had a point after all. In addition, the very concept of equating 'view' with 'truth' is problematic. Is it a case of 'One truth many paths' or 'One path many truths'? It all gets very circular very quickly.

My other response is that when it comes down to it we all like freedom of speech, and maybe saying things that might not be true is fun. And maybe having fun is the path to real truth anyway, the personal truth that all those who have a regular yoga practice begin to wrestle with whenever a foot is set on a mat.

"One truth, many paths" - nice one dad!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

The best city in NZ

There's just one snag - yep, the weather is shite in Wellington. Someone said today that it is actually the worst in the country. Even this however is behaving and it is actually warm at 530am as we head down the 138 steps to get in the car and go to Te Aro Astanga. Wellington is hilly and blustery but also sunny and appealingly compact. I am staying with P an N who, though I had never met them, have kindly put me up for the week so I can extend last week's workshop down here. Their house is right up the top of Brooklyn and has superb views of the city and harbour, today all shimmering water and bright green and red tin roofs nestling up and down the inclines.

The yoga is done by 8am so that leaves a whole day. Today I sat on their verandah and read The Magus by John Fowles

Thursday, March 01, 2007

We have a 'travelling yoga teacher' here at the moment doing a 5 day workshop. 630am practices, a full room and lovely sunny mornings to welcome us out afterwards.

The yoga teacher seems pretty focused on making sure no one is hurting their knees – I mean really making sure. He is also doing a bit of chanting while folk get through the first part of the standing sequence. It’s in Sanskrit so I obviously can’t understand it. But I don’t think that is the point. It sounds very beautiful however, which is perhaps the best way to understand it. Thanks mate.

On Saturday night there is to be a little dinner – bring a dish – for which I am going to cook my two favourite Indian dishes; paneer tikka and mutter paneer. Tried to find the paneer in the local supermarkets but to no avail. No problem though, it’s easy to make – just boil some milk up and add lemon juice to curdle, then strain the curds from the whey and there you have it. Very nice of the local Indian restaurant to oblige and make me about a kilo which is now sitting, round, pressed and slightly creamy in colour, in the fridge.

In other news, still looking for somewhere to call my own round here – almost sealed the deal twice over the weekend only for unforeseen circumstances to crop up and ruin the party in both cases. Back to square one, ads in the paper and so on. No drama though as I have a month so go so should be plenty of time – plus the fact that at least two people have offered me rooms in their houses should the need arise.

Life is getting more transient by the minute anyway – all my junk is now stored in one of those self storage facilities where it has air con, security and all for just $30 per month. I really did not miss any of it for 5 months and don’t yet need it day to day here.

Latest ipod acquisitions are the new albums from Shapeshifter, the NZ drum and bass act, and British Soul artist Amy Winehouse. Both spanking albums. Also, I can heartily recommend George FM - this Auckland radio station plays an uplifting range of music - and I mean range, unlike the rock based drivel which intersperses the ads on most local NZ stations - which is a true sound for sore ears at these verdant, warm and seductively barren latitudes.