the times they are a-changing

Y’all won’t be reading very many cathartic musings and rants because a week from today I am headed to Northern California for Spirit Rock’s Mindfulness Yoga and Meditation Training. I will be gone for 10 glorious days.

I can’t tell you how excited and grateful I am to be accepted into this program because it is truly a ground-breaking, leading-edge training, something that I have searched for for a long time — well, ever since I started teaching. According to the latest Tricycle magazine,

“the 18 month long training is designed to ground participants in the deeper, meditative dimensions of yoga as set out in Patanjali’s classical yoga system, through the integration of asana and pranayama with mindfulness meditation techniques…. The program’s integrated approach harks back to the way yoga was practiced thousands of years ago.

The teachers for this retreat — and what’s cool is that there are different yoga and Buddhist teachers for each retreat — are Jack Kornfield, Anna Douglas, Phillip Moffit, Mark Coleman, Stephen Cope, Janice Gates, Anne Cushman, and Tias Little.

The retreats follow a structure similar to a vipassana retreat, with regular periods of seated and walking meditation and yoga interwoven with dharma talks, yoga talks, workshops, Q & A sessions, and individual interviews with both yoga and vipassana teachers. Awesome!

Between retreats there are readings and practice assignments and we are assigned a “dharma buddy”, somebody in my geographic area.

So no blogging for me. It will be good to detach from the outside world, or at least detach as much as possible. It will almost be like going to India because when I am in India, I rarely read newspapers — maybe the international version of the New York Times occassionally — and I especially don’t want to read about the United States. When I was in India the first time, I completely missed Hurricane Katrina. and you know what? it felt good.

So try it some time, detaching from the constant barrage of negativity and the “live in fear” mantras that this culture is bombarded with 24/7/365. you will feel a difference, believe me.

And when I return I will tell the story of how I left the yoga studio where I have been teaching the last few years. Let’s just say that I had the guts to stand up and be honest about a situation that was based on delusions and lies and I got shot down in flames for it. Since Friday I have been honored and humbled by students who told me that they consider me their “spiritual teacher” — when most days I consider myself a fraud, merely an ant at the bottom of the yoga hill.

So this retreat at Spirit Rock can’t come soon enough because I feel disappointed, betrayed, and totally emotionally fried by the entire studio experience. if that sounds melodramatic, oh well, it’s the way I feel. I don’t live my life in delusions or lies. not anymore. and any life (or yoga studio) that is built on those two things will crumble soon enough, it’s only a matter of time.

But as they say, a door closes and another one opens. I talked today to a studio owner who sounds wonderful and we are getting together after my return. Plus I will learn a healing modality in November that my gut tells me is going to be an important part of my Path. As a reiki master I always intuited that there was something more out there, something much deeper and more profound. An akashic record reader told me that “reiki is too mundane for you.” And Ma India is only 86 days away.

I will leave you with the words of my teacher, Gelek Rimpoche, about how to deal with someone who upsets you:

You should try to realize that the person who is upsetting you is not doing it willingly. They are under the control of their own self-grasping ego and driven by delusion toward harmful actions. In that sense, their actions are like that of a drunkard or madman. With that understanding, ask yourself if it is worth getting angry with a madman or a drunkard. There is no reason to hate such a person, who is suffering under the control of their negative emotions.

Go with the flow, Sama, just go with the flow. Detach from the outcome and all is coming.

While I’m gone, please go over to the sidebar and look at “Compassion in Action” — please click one or all of the charity buttons to donate…it doesn’t cost you anything but about 10 seconds of your time.

salaam aleikum

7 thoughts on “the times they are a-changing

  1. Hey, great for you. Sounds like the timing is just right. We’ll miss you, of course, but look forward to the new incarnation to return in a few weeks. Say “hello” to the Bay Area for me (still my “hometown” … though I haven’t lived there for many years). Marin is truly one of the world’s spiritual centers.Namaste.


  2. you’re sweet! thank you! If you were here I’d give ya a hug…:)the last time I was in No. CA was 1974 when my friend and I drove up to the coast, took a ferry to Victoria BC, came back down the middle of the states, then ended up hitchhiking to Berkeley every day….aaaaahhhh…those were the days….


  3. Indeed. About the same time I was skateboarding around the middle school, playing little league baseball, and dreaming of my first kiss 🙂All in my quaint little hometown of Livermore, where the two most significant entities were the physics research lab and the rodeo.


  4. Wow, Linda–this sounds AWESOME! I love Jack Kornfield. I don’t know most of the other leaders, but Tias Little is supposed to be wonderful.Have a GREAT retreat.


  5. This training sounds awesome. Can’t wait to hear all about it when you get back. This seems like a wonderful prerequisite to your healing training too. NamasteKathy


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