Well, I am here in Costa Rica for almost a week to teach an Immersion. It has been a year since I have been here and it's wild to think about how much has happened in the last year. One thing that I have learned- and am still learning to adjust to- is the different type of continuity that exists with students when I am not teaching public classes regularly. Throughout the days, months and and years of teaching ongoing yoga classes we share a very lovely kind of ongoing connection that happens from being in one another’s lives on the mat every week together. The more I travel and teach, and the less I am holding down the fort in public cases, the more I have to let go of that familiar kind of bond and recognize a different kind of continuity with students. This new type of connection happens over yearly cycles or bi-monthly cycles or monthly connections. Both are lovely and special but it's a different rhythm and has taken me some time to adjust to for sure.
So, the last time I visited Costa Rica we had such a lovely time together and I was so warmed and nurtured but the culture of the Costa Ricans. Truly they are warm, open- hearted, loving people who are very expressive and expansive people. I am really looking forward to being with them again.
I had a great weekend in Corpus Christi. I am teaching an introductory teacher training there which has been eye opening and inspiring. We have a intimate group of students most of whom are new to teaching and fairly new even to yoga. I worked with Michelle who owns the studio to develop a program that would introduce them to a variety of styles and methods and basic teaching skills. It has really been a great project.
One thing that I have learned to count on over the years is that if I go and spend some time with John and with the Anusara Yoga community I will always come home in some way shifted. It's so odd because it happens regardless of the technological/technical information provided. For example, I went to an advanced intensive and I came home and my observation skills over the weekend were sharper and I had better clarity about how to respond to the group's needs on more than a few topics but its not because we did any overt work with this. It happens, I believe, from a different, less linear process than what we might call "training."
I think it is fair to call it entrainment, though. Entrainment being the phenomenon that is often illustrated by the example that if you put a lot of small clocks in a room with a big grandfather clock then over a period of time, all those little clocks begin to shift and pulse with the larger clock. That syncing process is called entrainment and its a the heart of the guru-devotee relationship.
What's cool is that the little clocks stay unique to themselves- they don't suddenly morph into another kind of clock all together but something does shift- the pattern of their tick-tocking. Lee used to talk about that. He would say that the devotee isn't there ton imitate the guru or to become different than they truly are but they come to the guru to link their consciousness up with the state of consciousness that the guru embodies. It's not outer entrainment - we are all going to get to keep our wonderful unique personalities. But we find as we hang out in certain fields of energy that inner shifts occur at the level of the mind and heart. Of course it might affect the personality, but that is not what the relationship is aimed at. Personality change is a by-product of the shift of consciousness that entrainment encourages.
One of the Teacher Trainees this weekend asked if gurus have special powers or not. I thought it was a sweet and interesting question. the group had spent the last weekend with Manorama and so we were processing their experience with that a bit. I said, that my experience and study seems to suggest that there is a long continuum of “special powers” that gurus have but it may not be that they can materialize and de-materialize at will or anything overtly fantastical like that. But we should not overlook that around certain potent individuals, we may find ourselves feeling more expansive, more in touch with our truth, more aware of our connectedness, feeling smarter, more articulate, clearer and so on. And while these qualities certainly arise from within ourselves- it is “us” in one sense, we might consider that it is not unrelated to the teacher whose presence we have synced up with. And to me, that is most certainly a “special power.”
I noticed this phenomenon time and again around Lee. Certainly, around the many great teachers and beings he introduced our sangha to. I notice it around Manorama and I most definitely experience it as a result of keeping company with John and with the many great teachers he has introduced us to like Carlos Pomeda, Paul Muller Ortega, Sally Kempton, etc. Certain people function very well as “door openers” and can help open a door into deeper states within ourselves. And again, the guru is not the person who is opening the door. The guru is that function of opening the door. Sure a certain person may be better at it than others, but still, it is the function that is the guru.
Obviously more could be said about this but I have been feeling a certain heightened state of mind since my return from Miami that has been wonderful. It is always so good to plug into the energy field that is the Anusara Yoga kula when it is gathered around our teacher, John Friend. I find it always creates a shift. Of course, as we know, sometimes the shift is full of fire and sometimes the shift is full of nectar but either way, hang out around this field called Anusara Yoga and you are gonna be called to a new level.