Sweat drips down my face, landing on my practice rug in subtle, rhythmic taps. Behind the drops, the soft lyrical voice of the call to prayer flows through loudspeakers. Dusk is upon us, and I am practicing alone in my room, curtains drawn, window cracked slightly open, a sliver of a breeze punctuating the dissolving heat of the afternoon.
When I come to my mat–and my rug–to practice, the quality of my body and mind are revealed. Moments unfurl with the grace of flowers, blossoming into their beautiful, rich, full selves, then dying just as quickly, with equal intensity and fervor, and infinite, unfathomable speed. And I watch.
Practice brings me perspective. Practice helps me breathe. Practice grounds me in my feet and hands and heart. When I have taught 80 children. When I have spoken to a man about his impossible prison sentence and subsequent torture. When my housemate has been harassed on the street. Practice is there, and practice is grace.