It started last month. My mornings were getting too late and lazy. Rather, it’s me that was getting too late and lazy. The morning is always on time. (Language can be very convenient for diverting responsibility from ourselves, to other things like, the morning.)
Personally, I am not at all a routine person, and don’t feel the need to follow a routine schedule to keep my day in order. I know others who derive a great sense of satisfaction from their ritually-timed afternoon tea, or evening beer by which I could set my clock. The fact that these happen to all be men, I will not analyze for the moment. Suffice to say, I always looked on in wonder. Quite opposite, I don’t have a natural inclination for creating routine in my life, more likely I have some resistance to it. For change, or for tapasya – an austerity, action taken to strengthen and purify the mind – we must sometimes do exactly that which is opposite to our habitual nature. It is this opposite of our habitual that will often be the path of evolving our selves.
I lived many years waking up with the sun for an early yoga and meditation practice. This was not a routine. Waking up with the sun and moving, on my sleeping mat which was also my yoga mat, from sleeping position to meditating position, and then into yoga asanas, was the natural flow of my mind, body, and energy. When the desire of the mind, body, and energy are united, there is no effort, there is simply being and doing.
When the desire of either the mind, body, or energy, does not agree with the others, then there is effort.
These days I am not bounding out of my futon early mornings straight into meditating lotus or yoga asanas as naturally as a leaf falls to the ground, or a flower opens. With this, my yoga now, in this current lifestyle of relative ease, takes on another aspect, that of effort and tapasya, that wasn’t there before, even in its more rough-edged living.
And so, it came to a 30 day vow of early rising to jump-start my mornings, punctuated by a 6 am tea outside, starting on the nearby river, and occasionally migrating to nearby mountaintops. Six am tea at the river has me waking up at 5:40 am.
Tea on the nearest little mountaintop will wake me up at 5 am, and eventual 6 am tea on that mountain in the horizon will have me wake up at 3 am, unless I go up in the evening to camp. To make sure that I would go through with my 6 am tea, I invited people to join me. I hardly expect anyone to show up at 6 am, but definitely, the best way to fulfill a vow is to publicize it.
My first determined early morning, pictured here, I delightedly discovered camping gear and a motorbike under my favorite tree. It was actually about 8 am, (not so early, I know) and coffee, not tea. My initial idea was to get outside early morning everyday, without a specified time – or a specified drink. That same morning, with the hot sun and busy river traffic of 8 am, I decided to set my vow at 6 am outside, followed by yoga practice inside, for 30 days. Coffee became tea, because yoga on coffee makes rocket asana.