Finally sunshine. Arjuna, the guest coordinator, gave new arrivals a tour of the grounds. At one point we stopped beneath a sapodillo tree. There are four sapodillo trees here, according to Arjuna, and they yield a fruit called the dilly fruit, which is edible only on the day it falls. It can't be picked early, nor can it be preserved. You have to be here to try it, because it doesn't ship well. When you break it open, it smells like coconut and banana. When you bite into it, at first it tastes sweeter than sugar, then sour, a great psychedelic burst of flavor. Of course, says Arjuna, clear as that description is, it can't convey the experience, For that, you have to eat one yourself. Just like yoga.
We passed a wall painting of Shiva dancing on a miserable-looking creature (something like the image above). "What is it that Shiva is dancing on?" I asked. "That is a human ego," replied Arjuna.
In the afternoon, I took a workshop on yoga nidra given by a Swedish flight attendant, who said she used the practice to get the refreshment of a full night's sleep when she had only half an hour between flights. She also told us that the state induced by nidra is qualitatively different and BETTER than real sleep because in nidra you are neither awake nor asleep and therefore (logic doesn't count here) have greater access to the subconscious, giving you the power to implant in your psyche positive affirmations that lay the framework for actualizing your deepest desires. This sounded pretty enticing (if a tad incredible), so I was eager to experience it firsthand. Sadly, as she began the systematic relaxation process ("I relax my toes; my toes are relaxed"), I felt right through nidra into a deep slumber of genuine sleep, from which I had to be manually awakened. "Was that nidra?" I asked. "No, you were really asleep," my flight attendant said. My 20-minute nap was refreshing, but I did not implant positive affirmations, and it was not the equivalent of a full night's sleep. Damn.