Friday, August 27, 2010

Kripalu Time

Kripalu exists in a bit of a time warp.

If you've lived at Kripalu, you know what I mean, but for the rest of you, let me try to explain.

Being at Kripalu is a bit like being in a pressure cooker. The amount of things that happen, emotions you go through, experiences you engage in and things you learn in a 4-month volunteer stint could easily fill a year in "the real world".

It feels like so much gets packed into each day that it must have been more than a day. If someone goes away for the weekend, they're welcomed back as if they were gone for a week "Hey, good to see you! I feel like it's been forever! You missed so much!"

This is especially apparent in relationships; friendships formed feel like they've existed for years, and romantic relationships are thrust into deep realms on an accelerated timeline. When calculating how long a couple has been "together" it's not uncommon to say "well, it's been two months, so in Kripalu Time that's like half a year".

Part of it is living together, part of it is the intense focus on self-inquiry and awareness here and part of it is just the energy of the place.

It may seem like I'm saying time passes really slowly here, but paradoxically it feels like the opposite. I can hardly believe a year had passed since I first arrived. A few weeks ago, we had a lot of volunteers from the Jan-May term come back to visit. They came back and it felt like they had never left. In part I think that after sharing this intense experience, we have the kind of bond that can be picked up after any length of time without feeling like a moment has elapsed, but another part again is the subtle but pervasive energy of Kripalu... the time warp.

For me, even the time before Kripalu becomes less significant, so that differences in age don't separate members of the community as they might in other places. Not everyone would agree with me on this one, but it feels like Kripalutime levels the age gaps, as we're all just people working on our process and walking our paths. The lens of yoga allows us to see we're looking at the same things, perhaps from a different turn on the expanding spiral of life, but we're gazing in the same direction.

The Kripalu labyrinth is a wonderful place to lose track of time...

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