Friday, February 27, 2009

Scoped and Scooped

Today I got a lung biopsy. A young doctor put a scope down my windpipe and into my right lung, had a look around, and probably scooped out a little piece.

I thought It'd be an unpleasant experience, but fortunately I wasn't around for it. Without requesting it, I got enough happy juice in my IV to render me unconscious, so I never saw the dreaded scope.

I must not have had too much anesthetic, 'cause it's pretty much worn off now and I feel great.

So now between that, and the PT scan I'm getting on Monday, by midweek we should pretty much know just what it is that I've got.

I'm feeling pretty good about this, truly. And my yoga class is delivering more than my expectations for it anticipated, so that's great. And I'm not smoking nor using a nicotine patch, and I feel terrific. Maybe I'm finally free of that stuff at last.

Better late than never. And in the words of the old negro spiritual, as Dr. King once said, "Free at last; free at last; Great God A'mighty, I am free at last."

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Back to the Sources

I'm sitting in the Neptune Coffee Shop on Greenwood, getting ready for yoga class in about two hours, and they're playing all that "modren jazz." If these guys would ever stop tuning up and just play something -- you know, get together on "Stardust" or "Lady, Be Good" or something like that -- they might be OK.

As it is, this stuff gives me shingles. Even if it was good I wouldn't like it.

Got up this morning and did some yoga. Breathing was a little difficult because of frequent coughing, but overall was strong and regular, now that I'm acknowledging emphysema and using a count and a rhythm that work for me. Asana went very well indeed, and felt good, especially in my sore shoulder and back, which are now considerably less sore. I wish I had the time to do it every day, and I will -- soon.

Tonight's class should be stimulating. I imagine there should be some discussion of the sutras, especially Patanjali's aphorisms 1.3 and 1.4.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Doctors and Tests

Did not practice again this morning. Too many doctors. So the last time was Monday, and that was after missing three days.

I'm getting tired of all these tests and diagnostic procedures, but some good may come of it. At the moment I'm scheduled for a biopsy on Friday, get blood drawn on Saturday, PT scan on Monday, breath test a week from Friday. What they're telling me now is that they don't even know if it IS cancer.

So now that they've looked at me through a telescope and a microscope and a diagonal speculometer and probed me with a hydro-electro gesticulating splebe, they've come up with "We're not sure." Well, at least that sounds better than what they were telling me before.

OK, so far so good. But I'm going to look for another regular doctor, I can tell you, and avoid these places where they own all their own blood labs, imaging facilities, etc.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Ugh! This is hard.

Before I got involved in yoga teacher training, I should have given more thought to how sick I am. I'm sick physically and psychologically about six different ways. That I know of.

I'm sick in the lungs and arteries, the heart and the intestines, and the exit from the intestines. I'm sick in my mind's desire. I'm addicted, afflicted, and interdicted.

I thought I was dealing with all these various illnesses before I started training. But I was only halfway dealing with them, halfheartedly taking half measures.

It's a terrible, hard thing to be exposed in front of people you don't know, especially one's self.

I have a feeling this process of discovery is not done yet. And I know for sure I'm going to have to stop farting around with half measures if I want to stay alive.


Monday, February 23, 2009

Adaptation Dictated by Circumstances

This morning I've returned to yoga practice after a lost weekend that began with a disconcerting diagnosis on Thursday afternoon. After roughly three days spent reconciling myself to changed circumstances, I'm ready to resume the program. Life goes on, and I suspect it will for a while.

Two steps forward; one step back, two more forward.

The lost weekend is the reason I didn't write up the report of my participation in a morning all-levels class at Whole Life, taught by Sherrill (spelling? her initials are "SS") any sooner than this. I attended on Wednesday, February 18, and I hope I can remember the salient details.

The class began with a brief period of pranayama incorporating all four breath elements (inhale, retention, exhale, suspension), and what I noticed for about the tenth time is that I really can't do suspension, and need to stop trying. Emphysema as severe as mine compromises the lungs' ability to empty themselves, and consequently, inhalation is unusually shallow. if I try to suspend, I end up breathless. Retention, however, is not only easy, but feels good. What I worked out in my morning practice today is that the most comfortable pranayama cycle for me is: inhale count of four, retention count of four, exhale count of eight, followed by the briefest suspension (a half second pause). Here, as elsewhere, my practice needs to be adapted to my circumstances, and considering my numerous physical problems, Viniyoga, with its emphasis on adaptation to the practitioner, is definitely the most practical and most beneficial approach available to me.

After breathing, the class moved into a series of postures performed while lying on the ventral side. Because of a spinal injury at the junction of L5/S1, I found once again that I can lift my legs from this position only with great difficulty, and probably shouldn't try. Lifting the head and chest while lying on the abs seems beneficial, however.

I had trouble breathing during a sequence incorporating cakravakasana and vajrasana. I was moving at the same rhythm as the rest of the class, became breathless, and sort of started gasping. What I should do in future is find a comfortable rate of breathing suitable to that level of exertion, then let the pace of respiration determine the speed of the asana sequence.

We did a series of moves that combined uttanasana and a posture that involved bending at the waist with arms extended overhead, with the face toward the floor. At one point, standing up from the second posture to the fully-standing phase of uttanasana I lost oxygen to the brain and had to go into a squat with hands on the floor to avoid falling. Here again, I'll need to experiment, find a comfortable rate of respiration for this sequence, and let the breath set the pace, irrespective of what others are doing.

At the close of class, during savasana, I felt the usual twin effects from the previous hour's work of relaxation and renewed vigor. I observed as I usually do after practice that the most obvious effect yoga produces on my system is to reduce the pain and discomfort in my lower back. The second most noticeable effect is a calming and reduction in shaking associated with Parkinson's Disease. Thirdly, breathing seems slower and somewhat stronger after practice, although probably nowhere near what normal people experience.

I enjoyed the class and hope to repeat the experience soon.


Sunday, February 22, 2009

Return to the Land of the Living

I guess last Wednesday, the 18th, was the last day I actually did an asana practice or any pranayama. That was at a class I participated in at the Whole Life Studio in Seattle.

Tomorrow I'll go back to it, starting early. I'll be a non-smoker again after slapping on a patch at bedtime tonight, and looking to do some serious breathing. It's been kind of a lost weekend, starting Thursday night and running till now, spent digesting last week's twin diagnoses of Parkinson's and lung cancer. But now that's done and it's time to get back in the game, deal with those things, and move on.

I want to stick around till at least December 21, 2012, so I can see if the Maya were right.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Weekend Stillness

Friday morning, and everything is still.

On Wednesday I traveled to Seattle to take an all-levels Viniyoga class at Whole Life. It was worthwhile and beneficial, but I'll post my specific impressions elsewhere.

Didn't practice yesterday, except for some brief, experimental movement and breathing for purposes of instruction at my regular Thursday evening teacher training class.

I won't practice today either. For one thing, my lifelong bad habit has (temporarily) returned. For another, I'm seeing the physical therapist today so he can treat this shoulder injury and (I hope) symptoms of Parkinson's. My shoulder really hurts right now.

I'm thinking about very large questions this morning. What will be the world's fate? Prospects for the human race don't look too good, but unless there's a thermonuclear exchange, life will go on, one way or another. It's the quality of future human life in a decimated, foreboding, and unforgiving environment that's at issue, and whether living will be worth the effort in the future is the real question. Is "The Road Warrior" the template for the future? It sure as hell ain't "Back to the Future," I can assure you.

Think about those two diametrically opposed visions of what awaits us, then consider, is 2012 the year the future of humanity on earth (or not) will be decided? Are the Mayans trying to tell us something? For all our technical virtuosity, their calendar(s) was more sophisticated than ours, and their astronomy second to none. Is there really something to astrology after all?

Stay tuned. And call me if you come up with any answers. My phone number is 666.


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Sometimes Light, Sometimes Dark

A reflective and quiet practice this morning early. During breathing I managed to keep my mind fairly clear of debris for moderate lengths of time, and shaking due to Parkinson's was minimal.

Asanas were smooth and mindful. I learned some helpful pointers from AG Mohan's book yesterday, and kept my limbs supple rather than tensed during movement.

Sometimes during pranayama as I stare into the darkness of my closed eyes, I see light-colored patterns and fireworks on a black background. Other times I see dark shapes on a slightly lighter background. Today it was the latter. I wonder, what accounts for the difference?


Monday, February 16, 2009

Observation I

On Monday, 2/9/09, I observed an all-levels morning yoga class taught by Deb at the Whole Life Yoga studio in Seattle's Greenwood District. It could be characterized as a "gentle stretch" class whose object was to bring all the body's major muscle groups into play while engaging the breath, linking the contractions and relaxations of the muscles to the ebb and flow of respiration. As the class settled in, the instructor solicited individual requests from those present for specific types of movement which might be incorporated into the day's work, and also asked if any had specific body parts needing Rx.

Deb began by describing the breath itself, and during a prelude to asana movement encouraged her clients to incorporate a brief suspension into the respiratory cycle. She suggested the possibility of spinal elongation during aspiration and coached students to feel their lungs expanding "top to bottom, side to side, and front to back."

The class moved into Cakravakasana/Child's pose, then incorporated leg and arm lifts, then leg extensions, producing the "two-legged table" effect. Aspiration accompanied the various lifting movements; exhalation the downward/relaxing aspects of these cyclic sequences. I observed that none of the students, from the most flexible among them to the least, had any trouble executing any of these opening postures, nor any that followed, although there were discernible differences in the ranges of motion exhibited by the participants.

At various times during the class I was able to observe the different effects of respiration on the spine -- the thoracic flattening accompanying inhalation during seated and standing postures and the rounding of the upper back that accompanied aspiration during Child's pose especially. At no time was I able to see whatever abdominal movement may have accompanied the students' controlled breathing.

From the opening poses, the class moved into variations of Bhujangasana, bringing the abdominal muscles into play. Students were encouraged to note the differences between the way inhalation felt in this posture and to contrast the feeling with that which accompanies seated aspiration. From there, the class transitioned to Up Dog, then to Vajrasana, inhaling the arms up overhead while standing on knees, then exhaling the arms sidewards as their bodies folded from the waists toward the floor. Then from an interlude in Child's pose again, Down Dog transitioning to Tadasana followed by Uttanasana.

The sequence of postures during this hour-and-a-quarter class also included a lateral bends sequence and series of balance poses. More students had difficulty with the balance poses than any other, but Deb introduced several variations and adaptations (without singling out anyone present) so that in the end all were able to derive the benefits of this movement.

Throughout the class, I noticed that forward bends were initiated more frequently than any other general type of movement, that in all sequences the time required for thorough breathing determined the velocity of the movement rather than vice-versa, and that I was able to see a lot more lengthening of the entire body during inhalation than any other effect of respiration, such as movement in the abdominals.

The class closed with a back bend, Dvipada Pitham, followed by a knees-to-chest pose reminiscent of Apanasana, and a five-minute Savasana.

Sunday, February 15, 2009


It was an OK practice this morning, although concentration during pranayama was very hard. This Parkinson's Disease is a worrisome thing, and it's got me all distracted.

Did a thorough study of Gary's "Therapy for low back and hips" DVD.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Video Saturday

Didn't practice today. Instead I watched a Kraftsow video on therapy for the lower back. It's an excellent, college-level instructional presentation, and I'll study it in detail tomorrow.

Come to think of it, I'll have an intensive yoga day at home tomorrow -- studying, writing, practicing.

Practice yesterday was satisfactory, even though Parkinson's is disrupting the natural tranquility of pranayama. Asanas were good, my adaptations of the spinal twists and lateral movements adequate, and I had a slight, real nice muscular burn after p.m. movement, about five in the afternoon.

Friday, February 13, 2009

The Sun's Light, When He Unfolds It

Patanjali's aphorism 1.3, in one translation, speaks of a "seer" which an effective yoga practice will establish (or reveal) "in our own true nature," thus enabling the practitioner "to see clearly." Another translator (Desikachar) speaks only of "the ability to understand...fully and correctly," without specifying who or what is doing the understanding.

What is this "seer" which the first translator says is the understander of that which is to be understood? The Upanishads identify it as the Atman, or self, which, as one anonymous commentator explains it, is "hidden in every object of creation," being "the very Self which descends down...through self-projection and participates." According to this view, then, the center of the human being (or any being, for that matter), and the core of each person's anandamaya, is the supreme being itself, apart from, but incorporating itself into, the individual.

This sounds awfully much like the "collective unconscious" theory of Dr. Carl Gustav Jung, who wrote that "A more or less superficial layer of the unconscious (i.e., subconscious mind) is undoubtedly personal. I call it the 'personal unconscious.' But this personal layer rests upon a deeper layer, which does not derive from personal experience and is not a personal acquisition but is inborn. This deeper layer I call the 'collective unconscious.' I have chosen the term 'collective' because this part of the unconscious is not individual but universal..." (S.V. Wikiquote: Carl Jung,

It's worth noting that Prince Siddhatha the Buddha did not believe in a Self separate from and independent of the individual being, and taught that "Self is but a heap of composite qualities." He believed that what some call the Self or Seer is simply another component in and of the individual. He added his opinion that "the restless, busy nature of this at the root of pain," although he seems also to have been in agreement with Patanjali about the role of misperception in causing suffering. ("Teachings of the Buddha;" compiler Paul Carus, St. Martin's, 1998).

But for our purposes, defining this deep-seated organ of apprehension as God or not-God is not particularly important. What's at issue is the possibility of seeing "clearly," which my primary translation of aphorism 1.4 says is only possible by overcoming "conditioning." Desikachar's translation doesn't use the word "conditioning," but says instead that in the absence of the state of mind Patanjali called "yoga," that the mind's understanding of "the object" is blocked or covered up by "the mind's conception of that object," or by utter incomprehension. As the English poet William Blake famously wrote, "The sun's light, when he unfolds it / Depends on the organ that beholds it."

This is all very deep stuff, and confusing to one not used to thinking in terms which can only seem abstract until experience has made them concrete. I find myself referring back to something I heard Gary Kraftsow say about the G-word several times, when he expressed his preference for simply lumping all notions of Atman, Self, God, etc. under the phrase "that which never changes." I find it easiest to think of this as simply the mind's attention, as distinct from that upon which the attention is directed.

The metaphorical analogy I use is a goldfish bowl, which holds fish, water, plants, pebbles, and dirt. The contents of the bowl are the objects of attention, and the bowl is the attention itself. Jumping ahead slightly to Aphorism 1.6, if I, the practitioner perceive goldfish in the bowl, I'm perceiving accurately; if I see piranhas, I'm misperceiving; if I see miniature sea monsters, I'm imagining; if I see not the goldfish swimming in the bowl but the ones who used to swim there and are now departed, I'm remembering; and if I see nothing, I'm asleep.

But if I empty all the contents of the bowl, and wipe it clean, and allow it to remain empty, avoiding both the temptation and the tendency to fill it with this or that, then there will be nothing to occupy the attention but the attention itself, which unlike its constantly-changing contents, never changes. It's always completely transparent, spotless, and reflects accurately, like a clean mirror.

I must add that since starting this practice and study, as I've attempted to empty my mind's attention of its contents, changes in the mind have occurred. I sometimes see things in my mind's eye that I don't understand. Also, life, and even the most mundane daily events, frequently seem extremely strange and unfamiliar. I'm sure this is some sort of manifestation of the practice. I guess there's nothing to do but go forward with it.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Movin' on Down the Line

Kind of a ragged practice today, since I guess I have quite a lot on my mind. Breath rate was a little elevated yielding a 29-breath pranayama in 10 minutes. Asanas -- the spinal twists and lateral bends -- require adaptation to a sore shoulder.

I'll try getting in touch with the local physical therapist guy tomorrow, and set up an appointment for him to start working on that shoulder next week. Then I'll line up the rest of these various complaints and start knocking them down in order of size.

I will survive...

I've got all my life to live
And I've got all my love to give;
I will survive...

--1980's Pop song,
"I Will Survive"

Class #3 is tonight, so right now I'm on the other side of the Big Water, ensconced in the lively (and very youthful) Neptune Coffee Shop on Greenwood, tapping away, eating cheese, and eavesdropping on the conversations, which isn't difficult since younger people tend to talk loudly.

Nice to see all you Young People here...


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Bend in the Trail

Visited the doctor today who is worried about my lungs, cancer wise. She also suspects I have Parkinson's Disease.

What if I have one or the other? What if I have both? What will I do?

I wonder what this yoga training is about now? Is it going to give me a peaceful and orderly way to approach death?

Anyway, I'm going to finish this class, no matter what. Yoga has already given me more than I expected, and the class is amplifying everything I've learned so far. It's not just a practice, it's an attitude.

Speaking of practice, I did one today with no music. Breathing was intense, and varied in depth and duration. Doing postures, I modified the Matsyendrasana spinal twist and the right arm part of the Trikonasana lateral bend to favor that bad shoulder. The doctor recommended me to a physical therapist for that.


Tuesday, February 10, 2009


I started Whole Life's yoga instructors' training this past Thursday with a three-hour class, and since then most of us involved in that enterprise have been somewhat immersed. There was a five-hour session at the studio on Sunday, and yesterday I traveled across the water again to do a professional class observation there. There's travel to and from, assigned reading and writing, personal practice, and reflection.

What I've found during this short but intense involvement is that yoga is a lot more than physical therapy, and goes a lot deeper than what might be called "attitude adjustment." If one takes the yoga handed down from Patanjali and Krishnamacharya at all seriously, it offers the possibility of transformation of one's life at all levels of being: in the material body, in the tangible functions and processes of that body's parts, and also in the invisible body of the intellect and rational (or maybe not) apparatus of mental reflection and decision making.

But it doesn't stop there. The yoga of Patanjali is a dynamic, interactive philosophy capable to retooling and reordering the fundamental building blocks of one's personality -- the arrangements that compose the ego itself. And make no mistake, I like my ego (I never leave home without it), but I'm not going to defend one of its main constituents -- fear -- against the non-violent assault from that intrinsic philosophic gentleness implied in yoga, known as ahimsa.

Just in this short immersion period, I've noticed occasional changes in the way I relate to others; I'm quieter and more accommodating than usual. And if this continues, I can imagine this philosophy penetrating to the deepest level of being, that of the heart and soul, the center of one's existence and source of all which is better about us, and all which is worse.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

One for the Inside, Two for the Outside

I wanted to mention that the "third eye" experience I had last week was a one-time occurrence, so far. The event hasn't repeated, and apparently can't be willed into happening.

What surprised me about it was that it seems to be strictly an inside job. I always thought that if and when the third eye manifested it would be on the other side of the bone, on the outside, the way it is in the pictures. Instead it's very much in and of the inner being, and my one, brief experience of it found it looking inward, not at all out at the external world.

I always assumed that such an experience would change the way the world looks, but that didn't happen at all.

Maybe it will happen eventually, but for right now I remain convinced that this is a really crappy world we live in, mainly because of the way people treat each other. It's a world in which war and economic exploitation cause immense amounts of unnecessary suffering. If we were living in God's world, it would be different, but we're not. Take a look around you; this world we're in was made by us, not by God. Walk down a city street, and God's presence is there in a few blades of grass and the occasional tree or wild mouse. And maybe deep in our own, bruised, suffering souls as well. But for the most part we live in a world of concrete, exhaust fumes, and meanness.

In order to get to God's world I'd have to travel way out on the Olympic Peninsula, and even there would be exposed to the effects of air and water pollution and deforestation.

This is why I get annoyed when I read or hear the phrase, "Suffering is caused by attachment." It implies that all suffering is caused by attachment, but the truth is that much suffering is existential. The people gassed and incinerated at Auschwitz didn't suffer because they adopted a less-than-useful attitude. A guy who's lost his job at Ford and has a family to support might be said to suffer because he's attached to feeding his kids, but what's the alternative to that?

If a guy gets the flu, he suffers because he's sick, not because he's attached. And of course, while we can always make a bad situation worse by hanging on to a lousy attitude and, say, wallowing in self-pity rather than resolving to do what one needs to do to get well quickly, the root cause of that kind of suffering is existential.

I noticed that Desikachar handles this subject with much more discrimination than I usually encounter, and stresses that if we dedicate ourselves to the practices he teaches, we may be able to "reduce suffering." That's a much more realistic attitude.

And in a world of crap, it's an important distinction.

No practice this morning. I'm in Seattle for a five-hour workshop at the studio, and we'll have a short practice there.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

More About Breathing

The breath didn't come as easily during this morning's routine as it did yesterday. I was obviously energized by Thursday's class, but since then I've slipped back into that slightly depressed, low-energy mode.

I wasn't able to get a handle on all those intrusive, disruptive stray thoughts either. Concentration this morning was sorely lacking.

Still, I enjoy practicing without coughing, and breathing easily throughout the day and night, without having to use a puffer. I won't get to first base without my lungs, obviously, and without the breath there's no revelation.

I've been taking Aleve, and it helps. Still, the shoulder really squawked when I tried to do Trikonasana and Warrior II, (I'm already doing a modified, lightweight Ardha Matsyendrasana spinal twist). Maybe on Monday when I practice here (got a workshop at Whole Life Studio tomorrow) I'll just do Warrior I.

Shaking was bad this morning too. Altogether it wasn't the greatest practice, but the main thing is I got up and did it. We can't always do it perfectly, or even well. Sometimes we just have to get it done.

I'll be going to the doctor on Wednesday to try to find out what this shaking is and if it's treatable, and she'll probably prescribe me some kind of heavy-duty anti-inflammatory drug for the shoulder, I hope.

Probably I'll get an order for a chest x-ray as well. Got to keep an eye on that spot in the right lung.


Friday, February 06, 2009

New Breath

The main thing I noticed in practicing this morning after my first class with teacher Tracy W. last night was improved breathing capacity, especially on the intake.

It must have been generated by that four-part breathing exercise we did.

Did not see that cone-like thing looking at me this morning. I think I was too busy concentrating on what I was doing.

Over all, I'd say I feel extremely energized by that class. For one thing, just getting out of the house and being around people for a few hours did wonders. The deep and endless silence here is starting to get to me.

I forgot to chant this morning. I'd better not get too excited.

Shoulder still hurts, but the worst is this shaking. It's uncomfortable and embarrassing. It looks terrible. I need to find out if there's anything I can do to make it go away.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Open Door

Expectations? I have no idea what to expect, mainly because since I started practicing a few years ago things have happened that I couldn't have imagined. For example, when I first started doing asanas at age 60, I never imagined that I'd already made my last visit to a chiropractor, but there it is.

So I guess I don't really have expectations, but just an open mind. I'm open to whatever wants to occur, such as...

I don't know quite how or why it happened, but a previously unknown door in my mind has opened, and beyond it is a room I didn't know was there. The room appears furnished, but with what, I don't know. I haven't gone in there yet.

The main thing is, I had no idea.

This must have resulted from the self-imposed discipline necessary for controlled breathing, and also crucial to even an attempt at getting stray thoughts under control during the breathing process.

Also, there are times during breathing practice when I'm looking into the void and see something looking back at me. It looks like a shallow, metallic cone with the point directly facing the space between my eyes or eyebrows. It looks inanimate but seems intelligent. And when I see this thing, I also feel as if another, third eye has opened, only it's an eye inside my head rather than on the outside.

These developments have been accompanied by lucid dreaming of a type very easy to interpret and pertaining to the heart-body, and this in spite of the fact that the most pertinent dream I remember was couched in symbols, as dreams generally are, rather than a direct expression.

I'd better go back to writing about politics tomorrow, or people are going to start to think I've gone nuts.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009


Eee, eee, and eek. I've been neglecting my yoga journal. So here's the catch-up post.

Feb. 1, Sunday: did my usual complete practice after skipping asanas on Saturday, but substituted a very mild spinal twist for Ardha Matsyendranasana because of pain in the shoulder. Trikonasana hurts the shoulder too, but I did it anyway because I think the effects of it -- popping in the back and left hip -- are really beneficial.

Feb. 2, Monday: Traveled to Oregon that day, after doing a quick but complete practice shortly after arising. It's a better way to start the day than what I usually do, which is drink six cups of coffee and tap away on the internet tubes for three or four hours, then practice, then eat.

Feb. 3, Tuesday. Did not practice. Returned from Oregon somewhat (but not too badly) bedraggled. I'm having a very tough time relearning guitar because of the loss of muscular control in my hands and fingers. I hope I don't have to give up this project. If I get good enough to play in public again I could turn heads, because even though I wouldn't be the greatest guitar player in the world, I've got the coolest looking guitar of anyone around.

Then there's today. Regular practice this morning (after six cups of coffee and three hours on the computer -- damn! I'm gonna have to change that thing) in spite of the continuing pain in the right shoulder. I'm taking Aleve, but it's not helping.

One thing I noticed (couldn't help but notice) after two consecutive very good days of pranayama last week was the sudden emergence of unusually focused mental clarity during and after dreaming. One dream last Saturday night in particular has stayed with me, as it should and probably must. Never mind that it told me something about the way I view my past behavior that I initially didn't want to know. It's something I have to come to terms with, or it wouldn't have cropped up.