My photo
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 3, 2011

Praying for Alignment

People who know that Lee Lozowick is my guru, and who also know that Darren and Christina (my friends in Anusara and fellow students of Lee) resigned from Anusara Yoga have understandably been asking me "what's going on?" and "are you resigning?" 

The news, when Christina told me, initiated a sort of sandpaper- applied-to-tenderness process of self-inquiry.  (not for the first time - not by a long shot).  The path and the practice have continually worked on me - dredging out the calcified, thickened residue that tends to accumulate in every human heart - and definitely in mine.  

Not for the first time, I've been scrutinizing my alignment to teachers, Teachers, sanghas, kulas and lineages.  And I've been praying hard - to be honest with myself, to see clearly and to move into stronger and steadier alignment with that which is most Sacred and out of that alignment to work and to love.    

Lee is my guru. His influence informs me deeply and infuses everything I do and teach, including my teaching of Anusara Yoga.  Not long ago, Lee said he could sum up his teaching as follows: "Seek beauty, Avoid suffering."  That works for me as a teacher of Anusara Yoga - for where I live - and for how I teach Anusura Yoga. Of course there is a vast amount more to Lee's teaching - so much depth and breadth. And so I run an ongoing study group for those who want to dive deeper into Lee's teachings. There are several of our local community of Yoga practitioners who are both sangha and kula.

Where I live, and given the context in which I work and the teachers and students with whom I connect day in and week out, there is no conflict. No problem.  There is a difference between Lee's teachings, Paul Muller Ortega's teachings and Shiva/Shakti tantra but these are not differences that makes a difference for me and my work.    Everything changes. I know this could change too. But it is true here and for now.  

Lee also taught me a lot about cultivating attention.....not getting distracted - consolidating attention through practice and then paying attention (which is my soul force) carefully so as to be "food" only for God. In keeping with that teaching, rather than feed my attention into the swirling distraction and speculation that has
been going on, I would like, instead, to consolidate my Attention to the middle, anchor it into my embodied life and then pay my Attention (which is my soul force, which is Love) to the remarkable students who are here for Immersion this week. And to the ongoing students that come to Garden Street.  And to the teachers there.....(who are called the garden street goddesses for a good reason).  I can extend my Attention far afield to my good friends in more than one school - as long as I know where it is rooted - as long as I don't uproot it or disperse its strength through distraction and fascination with the 10,000 things designed to distract!

If I could make one strong recommendation to anyone who wants it I would recommend that people read Wendell Berry.....Jayber Crow would be a good novel to start with. I would recommend - like I believe Wendell Berry does - that we remember where we live - in our bodies, breath and bones - and start living there. You might say: Let's Occupy ourselves right here! Lee asked his students to stop being seduced by what's going on somewhere else, to stop living virtually. He taught the path of the body - - Kaya Sadhana.  Step away from the computer. (Lee hated the action of the virtual because of its power to eat attention - to distract practitioners from what is Real).

In another week Leo and I are going to the ashram for a week. It will be good to be with sangha.  Leo is so excited. So am I. Eli and Emmanuelle just got back from there.  Both Eli and Leo love Anusara classes and Immersion studies, and they love being students of Lee. There is no problem. I feel fortunate to live in the context here -  glad I live where I live.

No comments:

Post a Comment