No one ever nominated me for the Rockin’ Girl Blogger Award that I’ve seen on many blogs by women, so I’m giving the award to myself. I liberated the badge from another blog, so there! Why? Because I most definitely rock! As it says in the side bar, I bow to Buddha but rock with Kali, jai ma!
My regular readers know what happened at the yoga studio that I left back in September, and that I dealt with lots of rage about the lies and deceptions the studio is built upon. As it turned out, tonight I start teaching at another studio where the vibe is the polar opposite of the old studio. In fact, the owner asked me to take over one of her classes. All things happen for a reason.
One of the styles of yoga that I teach is yin yoga so to introduce this new yoga community to it and to me, we planned two workshops. The first one was this past Saturday. To my amazement, 23 people signed up for the workshop. The studio was jammed. The next workshop is two weeks from now on a Sunday morning and 18 people have already signed up for that one, 11 before the first workshop was even given.
The studio is a beautiful, peaceful space with a number of Buddha statues, and at one end there is an altar with a large Buddha head surrounded by candles. As I was setting up the space before the workshop, listening to and chanting along with Krishna Das as he chanted Om Namah Shivaya Gurave, I was overcome with gratitude. Gratitude for the gift of yoga, gratitude for everything in my life, gratitude for life itself despite my physical afflictions.
No one was in the studio and I knelt down in front of the altar and began to cry. Chanting always does that to me. Sometimes I can’t even finish a chant because I am overcome. I asked my chant teacher in India why I cry so much when I hear vedic chants and she said that chanting cracks open the heart, that chanting brings old, painful samskaras to the surface to be released, that chanting opens the throat chakra to unite the mind with the heart.
I placed my hands in anjali mudra and chanted Buddham Saranam Gachhami Dhammam Saranam Gachhami Sangham Saranam Gachhami over and over again — grateful for Buddha, the dharma, and the sangha. I told myself that if my life ended just then or if something untoward should happen to me, whether in my travels or a disease, I would gladly accept whatever comes because I have had a good life despite everything I have ever been through, in this life and in any past life. I know that no one can cause my suffering. My suffering and my liberation are my own.
I got up and opened the door and the students began to slowly fill the studio. I began to teach, ending the workshop by leading them in the First Foundation of Mindfulness.
I rocked. And I was grateful.
“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision of tomorrow.” Melody Beattie