Today I went to Kobe to join a friend in presenting short yoga classes at an Earth Day festival in a park, with a focus on kids yoga.
When I arrived, my friend was teaching a small girl using a wonderful visual aid we had both learned in a Kids Yoga training. My friend was fully into the presentation, using exaggerated facial gestures and encouraging words, much to the delight of the child. I did not want to disturb her presentation so we did not exchange any greetings.
It was in that moment of watching her teach that I knew I was not going to teach at all, because I realized that I felt no impulse to do so.
I instead took a leisurely walk around the festival. I wandered about the multitude of booths, scoped out the different handicrafts and variations of curry being sold, people-watched and let myself simply enjoy the warmth of the sun, the clear blue of the sky and the abundant green of the plants, trees and grass.
As I did this, I felt my non-presence, as if I were unseen. I felt like I was drifting in a kind of lazy way, like a mist, from booth to booth, as an observer, without any interaction, a kind of background figure in each scene. I was unhurried, no destination. I did go back round to check on my friend and found she was still teaching, but now there were two children transfixed by her ease and playful manner. I smiled and took another languid lap around the park.
I was free, unhindered, unencumbered and deeply restful in my purposeless action.
And I was deeply grateful to my friend for inviting me to participate in the event. I went to perform action, to actively participate, but was met instead by an experience of non-action and passive participation.
After a relaxing snack shared with Eri while seated on the green, one more check on my friend revealed her audience had once again doubled. I still had not had the chance to exchange a word with her, so I left as I arrived, a silent non-presence, but now filled with gratitude for having been invited to the event and the opportunity given to steep in the quiet of non-participation.