With the re-opening of our school, the Confluence in San Diego and all the regular stuff, I have fallen woefully behind on posting all the recent, interesting events with Yoga in the news and in the world. I don’t think I will backtrack too much, so William Broad, you’re safe for the time being. Well, maybe except for this…
I wanted to thank Tim and Carol Miller, Jenny Barret-Bouwer and Deborah Ifill for envisioning and hosting an amazingly fun and inspiring event in San Diego last week. I was so happy to see and teach alongside my old friends Tim, Richard Freeman, David Swenson and Nancy Gilgoff, and to see the wisdom and experience they embody after so many years of practice.
In the wake of Guruji’s passing, Jen and Deb came up with an idea that, if kept up, could do a lot to help maintain the teachings and community that Guruji built up in the West. For the Ashtanga yogis to gather together and share stories, teachings, and practice together in such a relaxed and familial setting was beautiful and profound.
The final mantras of the Rig Veda say:
Meet together, talk together, let your minds apprehend alike; in like manner as the gods concurring accepted their portion of the worship.
Common be the prayer of these assembled, common be the acquirement, common the purpose, associated be the desire. I repeat for you a common prayer, I offer for you with a common oblation.
Common by your intention, common be the wishes of your heart, common be your thoughts, so that there be union among you.
I think that the Confluence went a long way towards fulfilling these mantras, and the ‘common’ that we all held was our gratitude for Guruji and what he taught and gave us. It was clear last weekend in San Diego that Ashtanga Yoga is alive and well in America. Now it is just a matter of maintaining it – which of course, is always the hard part. So, as Richard said on one of our panels, after a long, and subtle explanation on what happens when you enter into the state of samadhi through Isvara pranidhana, “Therefore… we have to keep practicing.”
(Steve Cahn and Bobbie Allen have a wrap up of some photos and blogs here.)
Thanks again, Tim, Richard, Nancy, David, Jen and Deb, for a great weekend, and most importantly, to everyone who attended.