In being a teacher, I cannot teach what I have not learned.
These days I teach yoga but really I offer messages of calm, peace and wholeness. I teach my students that they are whole and good from their very core and that their part in this life is to calm down and with grace, allow it to emerge. We practice knowing the calm and centered place of basic goodness before moving into any other practice.
I teach this because I have learned it.
Occasionally it happens that someone shares with me that they have had any number of difficulties come up in life and I remind them that their practices of meditation, centering and faith--whatever they be--- will ground them in their basic goodness, bring grace and that all will be well.
I can say this because I have learned it through my experience.
It makes sense though, that if I am to continue to teach I must continue to learn.
The easy part of continuing my education to teach yoga is taking workshops and classes. These keep me learning new ways of practicing asana keeping things fresh and, hopefully, interesting to my students. The hard part of continuing my education in teaching what I really teach... centering, wholeness and basic goodness... is where in life I get to learn this. It is within each experience that brings me to my practices that I explore and try out what I theoretically know.
Two weeks ago I breathed with my mother while she breathed her last physical breaths. I understood some things as I tried out something that I theoretically knew. She was making a journey into her next phase of life and I wanted to help her do it gracefully from her calm and centered place. I thought it would be easy for me to stay with her-- and it was. I thought I could offer my self to her as she embarked -- and I could. I didn't know that the energy I offered her at the time of her death would be just like the energy I've offered others at the time of giving birth -- but it was. The coming and going of life force is remarkably similar to me.
My mother has gracefully left this physical existence and, I believe, continues on. Today I see her face and smiling eyes in my mind and hear her confident and soothing voice in my head as she remains forever my mother; offering me, as always, her absolute love and adoration. I have learned that physical presence isn't as important as I thought it was; that we are more energy than matter!
She and I remain connected....we continue on, each breathing the air of our respective ethers.
And now its time for class. I begin with the intention in my heart, as I always do, "Please let me be of service to someone today". Then we sit, breathe, calm down and gracefully allow ourselves to emerge.