Well, I travelled to Georgia yesterday and arrived in Athens right around sunset, meditated, got unpacked and moved in and then settled down for the evening. We start teacher training here today. I came to Athens for the first part of this teacher training back in October, just days after I resigned my Anusara Yoga license. We had our second session in January and here we are back in April finishing up. I realized on the plane here that I have not been here since all the recent developments went down and so I was thinking we may have a few things to sort through.
I have two groups like this- this one in Georgia and one in Texas- programs that started as Anusara Yoga trainings and yet turned into a Shravana School of Yoga training post resignation. (Well, maybe three groups, as there is the Good to Great Training Program that Noah and I are doing.) Anyway, I kind of feel like this is a big month for finishing those programs and completing obligations that began in what now feels like a very different paradigm of life and work. Several of my colleagues have been encouraging me to write and check in about my "post Anusara" life and to keep writing blogs about the whole situation so as to show people who are struggling in their transition that (A) there is life after Anusara and (B) I am still present and interested in being a community member, that I haven't abandoned the community.
I found it an interesting request, especially interesting since more than one person made it of me. I made a conscious choice a while back to step away from the front lines of that particular discussion and let it play out on its own without me being overtly involved. (Keep in mind I have been commenting on the situation in some way, shape or form since OCtober when Darren and I resigned. ) Anyway, as the scandal broke and unfolded, I found that the way the scenario was playing out through social media was entirely unsatisfying for me, if not downright energetically draining and detrimental.
The experience did give me a lot of food for thought about how social media creates certain kinds of connections that are fine and good for what they are but how it is not the same as true intimacy. I do not find social media to provide the same quality of sharing, listening, learning and understanding that can happen in face-to-face community or where, shall we say "two or more are gathered." Again, I am all for social media I am just saying it is different due to scope, speed, etc. I think perhaps a good metaphor is that it is a bit more like fast food and the speed at which the connection is served up does not really allow for the unfolding of the story complete with the nuance and personal connections that are so necessary for us to really be nourished in communication. Anyway, I am not up for a big debate on that as I have seen tons of lovely things happen through the power of social media. I am just saying that careful consumption when it comes to the Big Stuff is probably wise. I know it is for me.
So, the fact I haven't been writing a lot about "it" (meaning The Anusara Situation) is not because I have abandoned anyone or because I am uncaring, uninterested or anything of the sort. I actually made a conscious choice to involve myself in a different conversation than the one that was playing out on Facebook, etc. I resigned from all related groups and stopped clicking on blogs and so on. If you have been reading my writing, you can read directly about what "post resignation" looks like for me since that is what I have been writing about, although I haven't prefaced it by saying "Post Resignation, Day 28: Licensing a Yoga School", "Post Resignation, Day 90: Getting a new partner" , etc. I personally want to be directly involved in the new story and not be referencing myself, my life or my work to the thing I left behind. (Although I am very clear that I am taking great things from the experience forward, etc.)
So I have been writing about what I am up to and what I am thinking about and what has been interesting to me as of late. And the thing that is really interesting to me of late has to do with the power of the practice itself. I have been spending as much time as I can in my practices and finding such refuge there, not surprisingly. And in my teaching, I am much more interesting in helping people deepen their life of practice and being in that conversation than I am in waxing on about the flaws of this system or that idea and so on. Honestly, I want to study, practice and teach yoga and the big world of yoga commerce- while necessary on some level since I make my living this way- is not the interesting line of discussion for me these days.
I think the whole thing will sort itself out (it already is) and my energy is best spent to sorting myself and my own direction out (which is what I have been doing). The people who remain and work for the re-invention of Anusara Yoga will have their lessons as will those of us who re-invent ourselves outside its formal boundaries. My expression will have its unique flavor as will other people's. This is as it should be and to me, its really all about resonance. I want to be around those people who want to learn, study and grow in the directions consistent with what I am teaching. And keeping in mind that every group needs some dissent and conflict to keep it vital and healthy and I do not see 100% agreement on all points necessary for forging ahead together, I am not into convincing anyone of anything about what they should or shouldn't do, or how they should see things or anything of the sort. Now is the time for soul searching and taking responsibility for one's life and one's choices and really listening for resonance.
So- I am working a lot these days on future programming and scheduling and have some cool things lined up. My thing is about creating an opportunity to learn, study and practice yoga, not so much about creating a new thing to join, although we are creating some structures to support the learning for sure. Call me idealistic but I think that if we were anchored in our life of practice over and above which organization is teaching us, defining us, and validating us, we would have a stronger connection to what is enduring. Seriously, organizations are human-made and will always fail us at some level. The best an organization can do is own up to its mistakes and learn and grow. No company, school, community, etc. will be without fault or flaw. Ever. If our eggs are in that basket we can look forward to a lifetime of disappointment.
However, if we use the structures of organizations, schools, programs and communities to help us to go inward, to learn practices for connecting with who we truly are, to grow more aware of the Energetic Field of which we are all a part, then the organizations will have served their function and their inevitable limitations will not be as problematic for us when they surface. Lee always said that "forewarned is forearmed" and so we can consider ourselves forewarned on this point: nothing on the manifest level is without flaw. Or like Bob Dylan said, Everything is Broken.
We have to grow up around our expectations of perfection, I think. Yoga never promised us a life without pain or without problem or without difficulty, as far as I can tell. It promises us- if we practice- a connection to what lives deeper than all that, to what lives at the Heart of who we are and at the Heart of reality. It promises to show us what is enduring and many times it will do that by allowing what is essentially transitory to dissolve right in front of our eyes, thereby clearing up our confusions and misperceptions.
So, anyway- those are my thoughts today. More soon.