from Kalama sutra, translation from the Pali by Bhikkhu Bodhi

This blog included. "So, as I said, Kalamas: 'Don't go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, "This contemplative is our teacher." When you know for yourselves that, "These qualities are unskillful; these qualities are blameworthy; these qualities are criticized by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to harm & to suffering" — then you should abandon them.' Thus was it said. And in reference to this was it said.

"Now, Kalamas, don't go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, 'This contemplative is our teacher.' When you know for yourselves that, 'These qualities are skillful; these qualities are blameless; these qualities are praised by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to welfare & to happiness' — then you should enter & remain in them. Buddha - Kalama Sutta

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Updated: Miscellaneous; Mouse, Ramayana, Coccyx, Sodastream, Lotus, 2nd

Mouse in the house
I have a mouse in the house, an unwelcome mouse. Caught a glimpse of it a couple of nights ago but then it disappeared. I wasn't believed until SHE saw it too. Now what's the yogic way to get rid of an unwelcome mouse? At the moment we're trying peppermint in the hope it might decide to pack it's bags and move on.


Caught that mouse but then found we had another one. Managed to film where we released it in the local woods.

The Ramayana
New bath book is the Indian epic, The Ramayana. It's kind of a giant fairy tale. I picked it up in LA but had enough books to be going on with on the course, then Mohan's Krisnamacharya came out as did Guruji. Bit disappointed with both of them actually, think I was hoping for something more scholarly on Krisnamacharya and the Guruji book, well, it went on a bit, same questions again and again. A few interviews stood out though, The Darby's in particular was great fun, other good ones I'd read before elsewhere, oh and Saraswathi should get her own book deal, would love to read more about her life. Back to The Ramayana, found it hard to get into at first but after a hundred pages or so it's taken off. The evil Manthara has caused trouble and on the day of his coronation Prince Rama has been exiled to the forest to become an ascetic, adventure awaits.

On the Calvino, to read next shelf, Smith's translation of The Mahabarata for penguin, it arrived just before I left for the course and I reluctantly left it behind, can't wait. Easwaran's Translation of The Upanishads. I had the Oxford translation but loved his version of the Gita so had to get it. Dalrymple's Nine lives, a present that I'm savouring. Yogayajnavalkya Samhita, translated by Desikachar, don't think twiceYogi's, get it while it's still in print, wonderful book charmingly presented. Also, Early India by Romila Thapar.

Sore Coccyx
OK a little too much information perhaps but I'm kind of wondering if this is an Ashtanga thing. My coccyx (tailbone) seems to have changed alignment, either it's sticking out a little more or the areas become swollen , bit painful to sit down. Anyone else developed this?

Improved Lotus
I'm wondering if the two are related but my lotus seems to have, to take Kino's phrase, blossomed. I've been able to get into it for years, never that comfortable for very long but OK, I've tended to use half lotus for meditation. In the last couple of weeks something seems to have shifted and I'm much more comfortable and seem able to sit for pretty much as long as I want. I'm assuming it's Vinyasa Krama related, perhaps the way you really stick your backside out as you go into forward bends or the long stays in Paschimottanasana, perhaps it's the extra work I've been doing with Hanumanasana or Eka Pada Raja Kapotasana, I'm not sure what it is but something seems to have worked. Best of all I'm not bothered by the sore coccyx above while in lotus.

I bought a Sodastream, one of those fizzy drink things we had (some of us ) as kids. I got fed up of all the empty carbonated water bottles so decided to make my own. Expensive outlay at first but after the first 60 liters it should save a bit too (I got the cheaper one but the penguin version makes a better picture).

Ashtanga Morning practice
I've been practicing Ashtanga in the mornings all week, alternating Primary and Intermediate. This morning I even fished out my old Richard Freeman 2nd series DVD, enjoyed it actually. Can't remember a single thing he said right now but at the time everything seemed to make perfect sense and was helpful, my palate feels very relaxed. So It's Ashtanga but I'm employing a Vinyasa Krama approach. I start with the Tadasana subroutine before going into the Sury's. Long slow exhalations, long stays in paschimottanasana and the inversions, sometimes I enter a pose come out and then enter it again for the long stay. I add the Shoulderstand prep I'm used to and add another shoulderstand after my ten minute headstand. Pranyama and meditation after the practice.

In the evening I practice 20 minutes or so of Vinyasa Krama, (a rotating selection of subroutines) followed by Pranayama and Japa meditation.

I ordered the old 1993 DVD with Jois leading Richard and the Miller brother's etc through Primary and 2nd, looking forward to seeing it and following along, here's a clip from YouTube.


  1. Dear Grimmly
    I found out a great yogic way to get a mouse out; a buddhist way as well. there is a contraption that is basically a box with crackers. the mouse eats through the cracker and gets trapped inside the box. there are more crackers inside so that when you take the box out in nature, they eat their way out of the other side, still having sustenance. cheers, Arturo.
    here is the website

  2. You can easily get one of these from B&Q - humane traps...they only cost a few pounds. Apparently they like jam/peanut butter (though I may be remembering wrong!). Alternatively learn to love the mouse!! ;)

  3. Regarding your sore coccyx, I've had similar experiences. Not sure why it happens, but occasionally it gets tender and feels like it's sticking out, makes it difficult to lay in savasana or do any navasana/bum balancing stuff. The soreness always fades after a day or two. I wouldn't worry about it.

  4. Thanks Arturo, Mel Peanut butter and jam crackers, check. But then what, they say you should take them a mile or two away to some wood and let them out. Surely some owl is getting to get an easy supper, it's a house mouse. Isn't there a way to clean them up and turn a wild mouse into a squeaky clean pet mouse with all the comforts of home. Ahmisa is hard.

    Been a couple couple of weeks M. getting fed up of it now, plus I broke the cardinal rule and googled symptoms, now I think my behind is going to fall off any minute.

  5. Miller Brothers?????

    You may enjoy also the Ramayana read by Ram Dass. It's at

  6. Are Chuck and Tim not brothers? I just always assumed. Will have a look at the Ram Dass one now, not that impressed with the translation I have, it's Ok but I'm sure there's a better one.

  7. My two videos of Pattabhi counting primary and intermediate are my only reason not to throwout my VHS player. They are a real gem. Great to hear that DVDs have finally been made available. Thank you for the link.

  8. I've also suddenly noticed a change in my lotus. Having found it reasonably comfortable all my life, I suddenly realised that something had changed, and my feet now have a tendency to dig into my hip bones in certain poses. Maybe I need to change the angle of my feet? The term 'blossomed' is definitely a more poetic description that 'shifted' which is how I'd previously been thinking of it.

    Regarding the mouse, you've hit on a debate that I've often had with myself, about whether I should return a critter to nature or not. Given that they pee as they walk, I think you'd need to cage it if it's going to stay in the house (unless you're more blase than me about invisible mouse urine on everything you own). Would it be better for it to have a short life in freedom, or a long one in captivity?

    Regarding the coccyx and googling symptoms, I think I'm bound by the Law of the Internet to point out that it's probably lupus.

  9. Lupus Ragdoll ! that doesn't sound good.

    Re Mouse, bought a humane trap today, plan is to let it out by this derelict house on the way to work, just got to catch the ruddy thing now.

  10. He's kind of a cute mouse! But I know how you feel. I only had two in my eons of living in this crappy hovel & Mooshi killed them. He's not worried about yogic!

  11. He is/was cute. haven't seen any sign of him for a couple of days now. Think he's under the floorboards. I found the hole he came up and stuffed it with tissue soaked in peppermint oil and sealed it up, perhaps it's done the trick. Was getting quite excited about seeing if the trap worked though, will set it anyway.
    Good that mooshi earned his keep, sure he was very pleased with himself.

  12. We have a mouse too and I am pretty freaked out about it. Husband doing something about it-not sure what and don't really want to know. But my son says he and his girlfriend have used a "live capture" system that traps mouse in a box, which you can take outside to release mouse.

  13. As far as I know they are not brothers. That's a good one! (Here,the surname Miller is ubiquitous, like Patel in Gujarat, or Kumar in Mysore).

    David and Doug (Swenson) *are* siblings.

  14. Sorry-hadn't read all the other comments when I wrote about live capture. But I think there is an argument that a cat is a yogic solution. Circle of life and all that.

  15. I think Mooshi thought they were cool toys. Thankfully he didn't tear them up. Left one in the tub and the other in his "goog kitty" food bowl.

  16. Good luck getting rid of yours Anon. Ours just made another appearance, BIG mouse. Laid traps before coming up to bed, looking forward to the morning.

    Funny enough Boodie there's an old woman with a cat rescue next door, perhaps I should pop over and borrow one for the night...... It may come to that.

  17. That can work you know!!! The mice can smell the cat & sometimes even stay away from just that, but you also might get a hold of a mouser & it'll take care of things.

  18. Trap worked, caught the mouse. Going to let it out around a derelict house I know. Hopefully he was the only one.

  19. Ah, Little Mouse, we hardly knew ye...

    As for lotus shifts, I only do half, but a year ago when I started, I couldn't do that. But in the last week or so, suddenly I can get the bind in ardha baddha paschi, I was so surprised (it always seems 'sudden' when really it's been a year, ha) but then my knee started clicking and I thought, darn it, I've gone and pushed. So backing off the bind, but wow, when I started it hurt to just get the foot on the opposite leg down by the knee and now I can comfortably rest the foot all the way up on the thigh! Knee isn't on the ground yet, that seems ridiculously impossible. But hange happens when I quit looking for it, I'm convinced.

    I was a bit disappointed with Guruji (the book), too. I'm not sure what I was hoping for, but whatever it was, I didn't get it. Some answer to some Jois-ian puzzle, still unsolved, I guess.

  20. Feeling a little sorry for the mouse, first night away from home, hope it was OK.
    I think I remember you writing about your lotus. true what you say, it seems like something just happens. all of a sudden, forgetting that we've been working on it for a year or more. I'd had operations on my knees in my twenties and had just accepted the idea that my left knee wasn't going to settle...but then it up and does. Hip openers, it's all in the hip openers..... I think.

    Yeah the Guruji is what it is and I know a lot of people love it. Must be very different reading it if you'd been to Mysore and practiced with him, imagine everything strikes a chord. Interesting too how everyone interviewed seems to have a similar and yet almost completely different view of the practice, what it is, how it is/was. I enjoyed a lot of the interviews, Tim on Sharath was quite interesting but I think, as with the Krishnamacharya book by Mohan, that I wanted a serious, warts and all biography. Still too soon for Jois perhaps but there should be a serious work on Krishnamacharya by now from outside the family and students. There you go, Maya, your a writer, get researching, 'Three Gurus, a study of Krishnamacharya, Iyengar and Jois'.

  21. Oh yeah, I'll get right on that in all my free time.



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