Friday, June 10, 2011

My Guru

I am definately a bhakti-yogini. I am a lover in the Rumi sense of the word. Bhakti yoga at its core is finding wholeness, union, Yoga, by dissolving the ego (false-self) in the ocean of love that is the Cosmic Self, (the Universe, God, the Infinite, the Nature of Being- many names for one Source). This realization of the oneness of being is also called Self-realization, or enlightenment.

Glimpses of my bhakti-yogini nature foreshadowing this realization came in many forms. Of course, I believe, every child is a yogi-scientist-artist-explorer, nature and animal lover at heart. I used to extend my sphere of compassion to the many animals I tried to form a close bond with, innocently catching 'pets' that I wanted to so badly to love + care for- ants, grasshoppers, frogs, dragonflies, "leroys + beebles", (aquatic larvae and diver beetles), crayfish, and more, plus my domestic cats, gerbils, mice and hamsters. When I was young I even extended my sphere of concern to my stuffed animals, feeling worried that they would be saddened if I didn't pay equal attention to them. These things adults think are children's folly are the world of lovers, we know that sat-chid-ananda is the fabric of the universe, toys + 'real' beings alike.

I remember feeling the inauthenticity of having to decide "what to be" when I grew up, and I asked why being a good person wasn't enough to be.

I played outside as long as I was allowed. Nature was my playground. When I was inside, I most enjoyed learning about nature, the earth and the world cultures. Science and global studies were my favorites, along with art. To create was my passion.

Now, with an ever clarifying awareness, I see all these glimpses as obvious indications of my path. A yogini all along, a lover of Life Itself, but who is my guru?

In Ram Dass' description, the guru is the fully-realized or enlightened person that loves you unconditionally, whose prescence gives the instant experience of the love-bath that is sat-chid-ananda. The guru is one with Life fully, and gives the student unconditional love and exctly the right cues at the right time to facilitate awakening and the spiritual path. The guru helps burn the ego or small self to reveal the Self within. The guru is the reflection of the Self, in the mirror of one particular body.
I have no guru in this sense. Perhaps on pilgrimage to India in the future I will meet such a being. Maybe I will meet such a being here in America, but right now, I don't think so. My guru is the Guru reflected in all beings and especially in the natural world. My guru is the Guru. Life 'talks' to me when I ask it to clearly, honestly and with pure intention. If I ask for a certain sign in that way, I can't remember a time when it has not been given.
I have had and still have many influences and teachers. I began my yoga journey at the Sivananda Ashram in the Bahamas. I have done a great deal of self-study and Self study (actual practice). On the path they say that an ounce of practice is worth a pound of theory. K. Patabhi Jois said yoga is 1% theory and 99% practice. I have practiced with Shiva Rea. I resonated so well with Shiva's teachings that I consider her my primary teacher. I have been inspired by Jivamukti Yoga and will practice with its founders this August as well.

Thus far, Shiva Rea is the closest to a guru in human form that I have found. She inspires me and sparks an expansion of my awareness. She is "me in the future" in that when I touch base with her (through a dvd, a workshop, a blurb on her website) I often hear her articulate so clearly and with such knowing from experience something that I am just coming close to consciously experiencing. What is just busting out of the seed in me is fully blossomed and has given fruit and shared many seeds in Shiva. She is genuine and definately connected to what is the Source of life. I feel a great love in me for Shiva and her work. Much of what she does is so beautiful and resonates so well with me that it could be my own. I do adore her very much. However, Shiva Rea is world-renowned and is very busy. She hasn't the time to spend personally with all of her students. A guru doesn't need to spend a lot of time with the student, but I imagine a more personal connection both ways- for guru to know student too.
Will I ever find a guru in human form? I do long for a guru, at times quite passionately. Will Sharon Gannon or David Life be the guru of my dreams? Is Shiva my guru, will I get to understand that as the truth?
Will I meet a guru here in America or in the future in India? I cannot know now. But I do know that the more I practice, everyday I experience a small micrometer of expansion in my consciousness. And I feel that expansion, that warm immersion in the love-bath of being-bliss-wisdom when I am actually present in nature. Maybe I long for the guru to come in human form because that is the only way I have ever experienced loving-closeness, and because of the lack of really deep closeness I have had with much of my family. When I ask the Universe with genuine love and presence, It answers, and I do feel loved. The more aware I am, the more love I feel. And the more unconditional love I can allow to shine through me onto others, the more loved I feel.

So as far as I know, my guru is Nature. The Universe, Life Itself. That's what most people refer to as God. I kind of like the name Guru myself.

When I grow up, I aspire to be a guru. I want to be so illumined that the unconditional love that is the undercurrent of life itself flows through me into the world. I want to BECOME the love of the Guru. I want to shine that light on all beings, on all objects, to make the sacred universe aware of itself. I want to live my life as my message, as Mahatma Gandhi said and did. I want to live my life in perfect peace and perfect non-harm, living as a giving to the peace, happiness and freedom from suffering of all beings. I want to dissolve my small-self-ego in the ocean of unconditional-love-bliss-wisdom and just be That. May I become worthy of the title guru when the time is right and may I be that which the enables the Universe to unfold at Its own will (may I uphold the dharma, meaning that natural, balanced flow of all things 'as they are meant to be'). May my life enhance the peace-joy-love-freedom-nourishment of all beings, including the earth and entire Universe Itself. That is my greatest wish and desire.

When I am unified in love-consciouness, and you are unified in love-consciousness, we are one. In essence, we are all One, all is One. This is the meaning of Namaste.

What type of Yoga-path do you practice? Do you have a guru story? What teachers inspire you? Om, shanti, namaste!

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