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Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, United States
Karen is a yogini, writer, student, teacher and meditator. She founded Garden Street School of Yoga in 2000. Karen lives with her husband Chris. They have two amazing sons, Eli and Leo (both of them young men).

Nov 17, 2010

According to a teaching I heard from Robert Svoboda, the largest phenomenon or thing of its kind can be considered to be the embodiment of the Guru principle. Guru means "the weighty one".

Recently a guru came and took up residence in my back yard in the form of a Mama-Moose and her calf, a handsome young boy-moose. She is injured. Actually, she's dying. Her back leg is broken, mangled, irreparable. She was probably hit by a car. She can't move around to forage and she's getting very skinny. So she lays outside my window, literally 5 feet from where I meditate and do my practices of asana, pranayama, chanting and puja. Sometimes she struggles to her feet and looks in the window at me. She is HUGE.

We called Fish and Game. They know about my wounded Mama-Moose and they want to put her down to save her the suffering that is coming as there is no way she'll make it through the winter.
And there she sits, just a breath away from where I sit.....the Guru showing me an aspect of Life "as it is"......for Real.

Yesterday morning, I was sitting in meditation in the pre-dawn dark with our Mama-Moose sitting so nearby. My heart felt so tender and heavy and I was weeping as I was sitting. Although I do feel tremendous concern for our Mama-Moose, this heart-tenderness wasn't about her. I speculated that I might be feeling the hearts of Eli and Leo who were - even as I sat there - finishing up a 4 hour tour of Auschwitz. I thought I might have been seeing with my heart what they were seeing with their eyes: Auschwitz, for Real, a part of life that when seen "as it is" can not but break your heart open.
After I finished sitting and started into my morning doings, the phone rang, I picked up and a sangha mate told me the news that our Guru, Lee Lozowick, had left his body at 5 am that morning, right when I had been sitting in meditation. Lee had a big smile on his face as he left his body.

Mister Lee -- a blasting BLAZE of Blessing Force, of fierceness and love. Outrageous.

I have not talked so much about having a Guru although it's been a HUGE part of my practice and my life (as a Guru would be - being a Moose-sized phenomenon). For one thing - I'm just kind of quiet and introverted by nature. For another thing, it's not "nice" to have a Guru.....It makes people anxious. I get that and don't see the point of making people anxious unless they are actually and authentically inquiring into the Teaching. For another thing, I practice "containment". Lee taught a lot about "containment" - about not spilling your self out all over the place.....about learning to manage your speech, your physical body, your energetic body......consolidating your Attention so that you can coherently "pay" your Attention to what is most you can learn to be "food" only for God.

Well.....anyway.....these two days have been a ride. Sometimes my heart feels as heavy as our Mama-Moose. Other times I feel unshakable joy. It was good to be able to talk to Eli and Leo - and to Emmanuelle in India.....and of course to Chris.......All of us have been powerfully influenced by the immense Blessing Force of Mister Lee.

I think "my own back yard" is such a mysterious place - metaphorically and actually! Two years ago 3 peacocks appeared. I had never even SEEN a peacock before. They stayed awhile as I was preparing to go India. And then they left when I left and I never saw them again. And now here's my Mama-Moose - such a weighty one - such a Guru right in my own back yard, as close to me as my own breath. One of the most powerful dreams I ever had of Lee included that he came into my practice space from my back yard! The guru principle is.....right next to a Moose in my back yard. There's nowhere I have to go to be connected to that great and weighty force of Love.

Are you looking for me? I am in the next seat.
My shoulder is against yours.
you will not find me in the stupas, not in Indian shrine
rooms, nor in synagogues, nor in cathedrals:
not in masses, nor kirtans, not in legs winding
around your own neck, nor in eating nothing but
When you really look for me, you will see me
instantly --
you will find me in the tiniest house of time.
Kabir says: Student, tell me, what is God?
He is the breath inside the breath.


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