Commercial yoga, Cynicism, Cynics, Direct experience, Guidance, Guru, Yoga, Yogis
Readers of this blog might’ve noticed the occasional remark in my posts about my Guru.
Thanks to a particularly cynical comment from a blog friend in response to a recent post (which wasn’t the one I wanted him to read anyway… oh never mind!)… in reflection I realise I haven’t been very clear about some things.
I’m just a little angry.
Far as I can tell, there’s unwarranted suspicion around the concept of Guru. What’s it based on exactly? Personal real life experiences? Third or fourth hand stories? Reading a book or some random online account of some unknown person(s) about their ‘bad Guru’ experience? Stereotypes?
Please, do tell. Coz I’d love to know if it’s just another form of ignorance, discrimination or bigotry or similar… or based on something real?
How many of the cynical amongst you have ever met a bona fide Guru in the flesh? How many have spent any time studying with one? Huh? Please, do tell!
What is it? Do ya think I’m gonna to try and covert you? (Just so… not!) Is it fear of something that’s not easy to comprehend? Fear of the unknown? Does it sound to you like bondage instead of freedom?
I’m absolutely sick to death of people thinking (not that I really care, but y’know…) that I’m brainwashed, or mindless, or lost, or in someway retarded because I happen to have a profound connection with an accomplished spiritual being (not that he’d ever say that about himself mind you…).
Do you see me suggesting to anyone do what I do? No! So what makes you feel the need to criticise my choices without understanding where I’m coming from?
And trust me, unless you’ve taken initiation into a traditional yogic lineage of some kind, you’re simply NOT gonna get it. You can’t. You haven’t been there. It’s not like going to another city on the other side of the world. It’s like visiting another planet. I’ve tried to explain but much gets lost in the translation.
Most people simply can’t and won’t have the same experiences going to a commercial yoga class. You may learn the same asana, but you won’t learn them for the same reasons. And you certainly won’t be receiving the same kind of meditation instruction – if you get any at all. And if you’re not, I don’t know what you think yoga actually is! Its certainly not just a series of ‘yogaerobics’ to – keep you flexible or tone your body – as I’ve seen yoga classes advertised. Eeewwww.
I don’t need to be saved or woken up. I’m more awake than you can possibly imagine despite my frailties and insecurities.
And do you wanna know why I can say that? Because I see who and what I am in this limited world view and I don’t deny any of it. BUT I also have direct knowledge that this experience is far from all I am. Far from all anyone is…
I sometimes exist in the open spaces – the gaps in between – where it’s possible to see the whole friggin’ world as non-dual, everything as one. And yes, there’s a huge difference between theoretical/philosophical knowledge and practical experience where irrevocably, you gain intimate first hand knowledge.
So here’s where I get my love and respect for my Guru – there’s no one and I mean not a single person I’ve ever met who sees reality as clearly as he does. He lives in that world and for those willing to stick around, he’s happy to share what he knows. But in return he insists that his students strip away ALL bullshit romantic fantasies around how we see ourselves and other people. Dismantle that house of cards.
He’s the captain of my spiritual ship. Or rather I’ve tied my ship to his flotilla. Because we’re going into waters he’s traversed many a time and I’ve never been there myself. I don’t know the territory. The wind and the waves work differently there. He trains us and he wants us to be capable, but it can only be learned over time due to its complexity.
His advice is not used to work out what to wear or eat or do with my day. I’m not a child, he’s not my parent or saviour and I don’t rely on him for approval. I’m independent as a person – where I do rely on him is to explain the territory if I hit a part of the map I’ve never seen before.
When nothing looks familiar and my own resources fail me… when self reflection has taken me as far as I can possibly get… when I’ve talked to my more experienced yogi brothers and sisters and they can’t help me either… its then that I need my Guru’s guidance.
And that’s kind of where I’m at right now.
Svasti says: don’t generalise, don’t criticise what you don’t understand. Fine if its not for you, but just get on with it and let us ‘loony’ off-the-chart yogis do what we do best… Om namah sivaya!