Today, I’m allowing the body-form and more specifically, all its internal workings, i.e., systems, to feel whatever it is it needs to feel. Spoiler alert…as you will read below, after deep contemplation, I did pull out of my kundalini yoga teacher training.
I am light.
I am heavy.
I am in the “in-between.” I am honoring this in between by not quickly running to fill in the emptiness. I am being reminded of the interpretation of the Buddha’s teachings on dependent arising, re-invigorated by Nagarjuna (approximately 2nd century). The assertion is, “…everything we experience-both material and conscious-arises, plays out, and falls away in reliance upon an infinite web of contingent relationships. In other words, it is because things depend that life moves and we can experience it.” (Elizabeth Mattis-Namgyal, “The Logic of Faith.”) As the author describes in her wonderful book, I too find myself in the status of “the mind of an open question.” Not unlike a zen koan, where there is an invitation to one’s self (Self) of active inquiry without expectation of outcome or answer and instead, an “ah-ha”, or understanding or realization.
From a very pedestrian explanation of a seemingly mind-bending teaching, the idea is, everything exists because of something else. Something exists because of something else. everything depends on everything else. And so…
the initial statement released by my teacher trainers and a book recently released, and my reading of, elicited a series of inquiries and eventual decision. A decision, I am finding, has a life of its own and is in no way static, nor has a “period” at its end.
It has been a gorgeous domino effect: announcement, allegations, visceral response, confirmed emotions brought to the surface and concessions acknowledged. And the experience of annihilation and the ever informing experience of what this means and how it is playing itself out in the life of “Mary”.
The energy from the initial announcement to decision was deep and thorough and, while seemingly painful, has in fact been life affirming, an honoring of my own inner wisdom/truth and voice. This honoring has propelled me into the field of the unknown & curiosity. Teacher training had nothing to do with “becoming” an actual teacher of a particular practice. No, it was a six month process of an unraveling and a revealing of a Mary that was simply awaiting her arrival.
It’s about lineage and patriarchy and the divine feminine and abuse and trauma and the interweaving of what has come before. It’s about listening to what is wanting to be heard. Out at the edges of my knowingness, there is a new narrative waiting to be revealed. Out at and beyond, these edges, the beauty of the unknown.
SHE is waiting.
First, I wrote this. 2/29/2020
The extra day. Today.
Deeply processing. Two months remain in my kundalini yoga teacher training.
The branded name is “Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan”.
A book released last month has created a tsunami. The book relays a young woman’s experience within the 3HO (Kundalini Yoga) community and her intimate relationship with Yogi Bhajan over the course of 16 years. It’s a beautiful book really. She describes quite clearly and transparently what it was like for a woman in her early 20’s in the early ’70’s in search of her spiritual teacher. It is a clarion call for looking outside of ourselves.
The book has opened the floodgates for many men and women and their stories ranging from verbal and sexual abuse, rape, violence, money laundering; the list goes on. You can find it all on the internet and on Facebook.
There’s two months left of teacher training.
My teacher trainers have been open and honest and themselves, transparent, in their own processes and how there will most likely be sweeping changes at the yoga center. One of the first, no more “As taught by Yogi Bhajan”.
For a solid week I’ve been dipping in and out of Facebook reading many of those sharing their stories. Some so deeply disturbing, causing me to be triggered as my body memory feels the high alert of my own traumas (known and unknown). Every response you can possibly imagine. And, a large group sharing on how and if they will continue teaching KY* going forward and what that new form might look like.
What I really want to say…
What I really want to say is I don’t know if I can finish. And yesterday, practicing deep self care; walking in the woods, hot bath with baking soda and sea salt, practicing yoga, taking naps, I felt the word Annihilation come up. Sounds extreme doesn’t it? Annihilation of what? My identity? How? And then the question, “can I be sober without a practice? A container? A lineage? Followed by, “Is letting go of all lineage(s) the next level of my sobriety? Can I get sober from the need of having anything outside of me, as a container, to “hold” me? Can I allow myself to be free?
Can I simply “be”?
Class is next week. Can I open the textbook that has his name and face on the cover as well as quotes and his “teachings” all through? Can I seperate the teachings from the teacher? He was never my teacher and yet his energy runs through it all. Can I present a practice so enmeshed with someone who has been found out to be not just a narcissist, bully, and power monger, but a rapist and violent manipulator of those who cared so deeply?
Perhaps the truest question is, “Did I take this teacher training only to realize that I never needed it? That what and how I experience “teacher”, as has been presented and accepted for so long, has in fact gone beyond (for me), a role or a duty, or someone disseminating information, to a leader a learner. We are all in fact, learning from one another. Isn’t this what an aquarian view would be?
Do I need to wear white? Wear a turban? If these are all his “teachings” don’t I want to break out of all of it? And having said this, do I fit into this model that the teacher training is all about? What is it about? Can I fix you? can I heal you? Someone for people to look up to? It’s not unlike being in a relationship and finding that it no longer serves you, doesn’t quite fit.
What I’d really like is a few months off….
“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and right doing,
there is a field. I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in the grass,
the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase “each other”
doesn’t make any sense.
The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
Don’t go back to sleep.
You must ask for what you really want.
Don’t go back to sleep.
People are going back and forth across
where the two worlds touch.
The door is round and open.
Don’t go back to sleep.”