This morning I was blessed to have a yoga class at Swan River Yoga's Mid City Center given in my honor. I do not have any words to fully express my gratitude to my teacher and mentor, Libby Bryan, for organizing the class. She has been a champion of my cause, a light who gives me hope and strength, and the example of what I aspire to be as a yoga teacher.
This class was led by Libby and her friend and fellow yoga teacher Jacksun Slaughter, who I got to meet through this process. Jacksun is an activist and gave a beautiful dharma talk before the class, about the power of giving and the emergence of a gift economy that we are all pioneers in creating. The proceeds from the class are to go to my Jivamukti yoga teacher training. I am but a monk holding out a begging bowl at this point in my life, taking a giant leap of faith and believing that the universe will catch me.
I used to wonder about the spiritual seekers of the East, wandering with their begging bowls seeking alms. To the Western mind this seems like a selfish way to live, expecting others to support you while you follow your bliss. In the East, however, there is the wisdom that we are all connected by our karma. When we help another person on their path we receive benefit on our own. The more selfless we are, the happier we become.
We will play with a child or scratch a dog's belly because it gives them pleasure, and also gives us pleasure. It is much the same with helping each other in more profound ways. For example, when playing music, we can become shy and nervous when we think of how other's perceive our talent. If instead we play with the thought that the music will bring happiness to others, or that we are playing in devotion to the divine, then we lose the inhibition and our hearts open, and our music becomes beautiful. It is in selflessness that we reach our highest potential.
I have a gift inside of me. I am a teacher, a healer, and a visionary. I say this with an inevitable tinge of ego, certainly, but also with infinite humility and gratitude. I follow this path of a yogi to temper my qualities and teach me to be a peaceful warrior. I have found such a wellspring of love in this community, and hope to give back. To deepen and share my wisdom, to honor the sacred web of life that connects us all. To save the animals, the humans and the planet.
This morning's class was so amazing. I hardly knew anyone that showed up. At first I felt a blue note that none of my closest friends were there to support me. Then I realized how auspicious it was that this room full of strangers had come on my behalf. My friends support me every day in my happiness. These people came to help a stranger. Between the two I am infinitely blessed.
At the start of the class I sat to the right of Libby, with Jacksun to the left, to sing kirtans. Libby said that when we help one person amongst us on their spiritual path it lifts us all up. I am humbled to be in this position, and hope that I will uplift those around me on their path. I hope I can return the support I have been given exponentially to this community. I am in love with all of you. My heart and life for you. I am your warrior and servant, your friend and companion. I bow to the light in you, and am here to help keep it burning bright in all of us. Namaste.
Om Bolo Sat Guru, Bhagavan, Qi. Jai! (God is the only Real teacher, Alluleulia!)
Libby and Jacksun, thank you so much for all you do.