Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Certified Teacher's Gathering

So, well, here we are at the Certified Teacher's Gathering in North Carolina.

Like I imagined, it is great to see so many of my friends and colleagues all together in one room. It is a very impressive assemblage. The first two days have gone by now and it has been difficult to actually get a chance to write. I have spent a lot of time to talking to people, sharing impressions, having business meetings and of course, just being in our sessions every day.

John has been outlining the basic tenets of what he is calling Shiva-Shakti Tantra and describing his vision for what he is calling the Art and Culture of Anusara Yoga. Seeing him work to clarify his vision is interesting. This articulation is not exactly new but it does have a flavor and orientation that somehow seems more than a bit different. It is hard to say exactly how, but the mood and tone of things is shifting- that's for sure.

Change is always interesting to consider. Even on a simple level. Manouso Manos, a Senior Iyengar Yoga teacher once remarked, "you know how you drive an older student crazy? Teach them something new every class. Want to drive younger student crazy? Teach the same thing over and over." That teaching made a strong impression on me but I wonder now if it is actually an age thing at all. I think it is more a temperament issue. I think that some of us like change by nature and struggle with sameness. Some of us like sameness and predictability and struggle with change.

Anyway, Anusara Yoga has certainly been in a time of change, revision and re-invention. Sure on one level, nothing is different but on another level, there is a lot that is different. And I think about most of my friends in the method...we have been at this together well over 10 years now and we have each grown and changed in so many ways. What an interesting spanda, really. There are things that are the same- many of the players, many of the basic tenets, the UPA's and so forth. And yet so many things are changing- our needs, our responsibilities, our relationships, not to mention the general flavor of the culture.

I personally feel like we are in a bit of a growth crisis of sorts. John spent the first morning of the Gathering sharing about the growth and expansion of the Ansuara Yoga vision and presence and asking some of his key staff members to share how they have seen Ansuara grow this last year. I thought about my own answer while they shared their views. And while I agree with the overwhelmingly positive statements that the staff members offered, I knew that if I had been asked, I would have shared that, while the growth and development of the organization is certainly at a zenith, this year also seems to be a year where doubts are high, where concern is present and that as we grow and change, many are being confronted with opportunities to refine their sadhana, deepen their integrity and take a stand in their deeper truths even if they are uncomfortable, unpopular and initially upsetting.

Obviously, that's not a bright and shiny "it's all great" kind of thing to say on the first morning of the company meeting! But it is as though a light is shining on us and the light is revealing all the beauty and all the not-so-beautiful things- personally and corporately- as well. I personally, see that as good. I mean if you can't see it, you can't deal with it, you can't heal it and so really, when the Great Light shines in our dark places, even though it is generally uncomfortable and none of us look real pretty when its happening, it is a time of very high Possibility. And while the nature of that kind of work is rarely to provide a flattering view, in general, if we can hold that kind of context, it can be very helpful.

So- we are back at it today. Yesterday brought lots of challenges for many of my friends and yet I most definitely feel that its the Light offering its heat and clarity and in the agni of that, there is so much soma or nectar in the company of one another.

More soon.


Olga Rasmussen said...

So beautiful and honest Christina! An excellent job at really conveying the nuances of the growth we are going through as a community and family - and how the process is also holding up the mirror to where we need to do the work! It reminds me of when I used to teach the sociology of institutionalization and the stages an organization goes through - and we are living it!

christina said...

Thank you Christina Sell, for always crystalizing the essence of an experience with graceful wisdom, extracting truth and refined sensitivity. You are a teacher of high caliber in many ways.

Leslie Salmon said...

While I'm not there hearing all that's being said, I'm finding it's a good thing to step out of our comfort zone once in a while (like starting a journey from Inspired towards Certified). Love your analogy of 'can't/won't deal with it unless we acknowledge it'. Change can be good, but not always easy.

Emma said...

teacher gatherings always bring up a lot for me. it's an intense grouping; huzzah for being with your truth.

Mike Frosolono said...

A person cannot step in the same river twice.

Anonymous said...

How funny that another Emma posted a comment AND used the word "huzzah" which I use all the time! hello other Emma!

anyway, this is, as usual, thoughtful and beautiful. I totally agree that this has been a year of stepping into the fire. I think that as a community we are trying hard to grow up, and feeling keenly right now the gap between our values and our manifestation of our values. We're at conscious incompetence right now, which is a hard place to be, but is much better than unconscious incompetence and can ultimately lead to conscious competence!

hillarysyogapractice said...

Christina, thanks for your honesty and perspective. I feel you in every way and so love the community as it is powerful. xo