In the past two and a half years I feel as if I had been thrown up with such a force into the universe, spinning around, leaving a life that I thought would last forever. Within the space of one year, everything was taken from me. All that had been familiar to me was gone. In one year my beloved guru of 38 years had passed, we and our satsang were evicted from our home/ashram where we had lived and gathered for 25 years,without a permanent address, my business took a dive, my yoga classes were suspended, and my very close friend whom I had cared for since his cancer diagnosis 6 years ago, left his body behind in the bed that we had set up in his living room next to his beautiful Christmas tree.
I ended up in an area of town which could have been another country. With the necessities of life to scramble for, and a new home that needed a lot of work, I was reminded of a poem by the great poet Ramprasad of whom my Beloved often quoted;
““Oh Mother who can understand thy magic. Thou art a mad Goddess. Thou hath made all mad with attachments under the influence of thy magic. without a permanent address, None can recognize any other in this world. All imitate other’s actions; such is the wrath of Kali. Such is the agony caused by the mad Goddess that none can know Her outright. Ramprasad says; all sufferings vanish if She grants you Her Grace.”
Thinking back, being a devotee of Mother Kali, I had been more than prepared for all the chaos of the past two years. I merely had to continue my trust in her that had propelled me through this vortex of change and leave all the attachments that I had collected over the past 38 years behind me.
How foolish I was to forget at times, that all that was happening to me was by Her will, therefore her grace and consequently I landed on my feet in what is a beautiful home/ashram where the service work will continue. As a Taurus, we hate change, but I would like to think that I have transcended the planets influences and advice, and instead continue to listen to my beloved who has never left me.
Besides my own practice which I had continued to do,when looking for a studio to teach the yoga, and having had the luxury of owning my own studio, I found that I had unknowingly aged out of the system. In Hollywood, wisdom is often traded for the next new shiny young teacher with a top knot. So like a beggar, I went with my bowl from yoga studio to yoga studio. I remember with great bravado responding to one managers great shock when he saw a 64-year-old man in front of him; ” I am the Fred Astaire of yoga.” I guess this was my low point of that period as I tried to shoe-horn myself into various “fitness” programs around town.
“Save me. Save me, from the tentacles of egoism my lord.”
My pride, like a snake was being ground under by one of Kali’s great feet, as I struggled to reinvent myself. Refusing to believe that I was to settle and be a “house holder”, I continued to pray and prowl the streets of my new neighborhood, looking for a studio that would accept this new yoga as taught to me from my guru. I owed Her as much and so much more for the life that She had trained me for. No matter what, it was her blood that ran through my veins, as I reminded myself to surrendered to her again and again.
I found a studio, not 15 minutes from the new house. Reading the ad as it was displayed in the bi-monthly neighborhood news letter. “Come and celebrate our six-year anniversary with us.” I was given a 90 minute slot at 3pm on Saturday afternoons.
I couldn’t wait to teach, and on the day of my first class, I found that someone had forgotten to open the studio for me. I stood outside leaning against the brick building under the scorching hot sun, and waited to see if anyone would show up. A young man and a woman in their early thirties soon approached with their mats ready to practice. We talked, and I ended up taking them both out to lunch, secretly laughing at myself for spending money instead of making it. The following week I was given my own set of keys. I was sure that I was ready and open for anyone who wanted a free class. I cleaned up an already spotless studio, placed my mat down with my Guru’s picture staring back at me, in what looked to be a smirk. No one showed up. I smiled inwardly sharing the Mothers joke as she continued preparing me to teach. I did my yoga and meditated and held the space of grace there for 90 minutes, which is the length of my class. I left an envelope with cash for the rental of that time, closed up and returned home.
“If You Build It, They will Come.”
I will be there again this Saturday, and every Saturday there after, preparing the space for anyone that the Mother, so solicitous in her attentions, will choose. For more info on Swami go to <a href=”http://www.thumbtack.com/ca/los-angeles/yoga/yoga-instructor-john-shinavier”>Kali Natha Yoga as shared by Swami Laxman Das</a>
Swami Laxman Das Jaya