Cosmic Bacteria : Imponderables and Aging

gate gate paragate parasam gate boddhisvaha

It's time for obtuse summaries, fluttery goodbyes, and absurd conclusions. My Encinitas stay is coming to a close.

However before the earthy, the stellar shines; so—macrocosm before microcosm. I read a remarkable article, (Where are all the aliens? ) that examines why we have no evidence other than mathematical probability to prove we are not alone in the universe. I intuitively favor the theory that we have no tools to detect alien communications.

However, mostly the article supported (my) imaginings about our infinitely vast and small universe. Could our mighty sun be a small atom-like particle? Could earth and planet be electrons? And could humans be "quarky" sub-sub-sub-atomic particles composing an immeasurably huge being? Could earth and humans be molecules or bacteria on another life form?  Could large and small be infinite in both directions? Consider this mind boggling piece of information from the article:
....for every star in the colossal Milky Way, there’s a whole galaxy out there. All together, that comes out to the typically quoted range of between 10^22 and 10^24 total stars, which means that for every grain of sand on every beach on earth there are 10,000 stars out there.
In Buddhism, speculating about the truth of the universe is said to lead to madness and is one of the the Four Imponderables. True to the teachings, my puny thoughts try to mentally grasp infinity, but it always ends the same way: I give up. Madness—only if one continues in the loop by trying to "get" it.

Now beaming back to earth and what at times seems like the petty concerns of a bit of bacteria doing yoga and trying to be "happy." And speaking of bacteria, I was invaded by a rhinovirus a few days ago, sabotaging plans for my final days in Southern California. The tone of the week, however, was set by Tim Miller who wrote his birthday (65) blog about aging gracefully. It is one of the very few writings that have resonated with both my winter body and spring mind. (See this wonderful article)

Tim Miller: reflections-on-aging-gracefully.html
The one great gift of the aging practice in regards to asana practice is this: the longer you practice, the better the quality of attention that you bring to the practice. Isn’t this what it’s all about anyway? — Tim Miller
Saw an excellent healer/Japanese-style acupuncturist, Janie (an Ashtangi), twice this week. Among many other things, we talked about aging. Does age make us more prone to injury and slower to heal? Although some generalizations can be made, every body is different. I started this Ashtanga practice comparatively recently—four years ago, so I am going to be different from someone who has been practicing from 10 to 40 years or more. What I am exploring (the hard way, via injury) is what my limits are. And maybe that's the issue for all of us. How hard do we push? When do we need to have compassion for ourselves? I am discovering the line between pushing through and pulling back (without guilt.) Then today I saw this lovely Iyengar quote:

Even as the body ages and is able to do less, there are subtleties that reveal themselves, which would be invisible to younger more athletic bodies. You have to create love and affection for your body for what it can do for you. Love must be incarnated in the smallest pore of the skin, the smallest cell of the body, to make them intelligent so they can collaborate with all the other ones, in the big republic of the body. - BKS Iyengar
And by loving the smallest cells of our bodies are we not simultaneously loving everything else including the largest "cells" of the universe (and all others)?

Tomorrow is a moon day. I plan to take rest and to watch Luna's round luminosity move toward Moonlight Beach.

May all your suns and moons be imponderably perfect.
  And this too is yoga.


(Gone, gone, gone to the Other Shore, attained the Other Shore having never left)


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