We've listened to a Sufi minister, a Tibetan lama, a Reconstructionist rabbi, a Christian reverend and
a Sivananda swami.
Meditation as a Path to Enlightenment has been this week's Interfaith Symposium's topic.
At the same time, the ashram was dealing with an outbreak of the flu - mainly with the karma yogis who provide all the services in the ashram. In the measured way that I've seen hurricane's handled, lightning strikes and other equally serious situations, the yogis who run this ashram had a plan that was quickly and quietly employed behind the scenes.
Guests were not impacted, and all the activities of the Ashram continued uninterrupted.
Nearly 40 people were quarantined and not allowed to mingle with others on the property. Food, water
and anything they needed were brought to them until they fully recovered and showed no symptoms for a full
3 days after symptoms subsided.
It meant that those of us who were not sick were covering in all sorts of ways. For me, I spent no time in the office - and after writing this blog I will be attempting to catch up with the hundreds of unread emails in my inbox - not a new phenomena :)
I taught two yoga classes each day, made announcements for the guests, gave two tours each day, opened
2 daily workshops by introducing presenters and doing the opening prayers, attended the workshops to
be available for assistance to the presenters and then closed workshops with prayer, assisted with
preparations for Gita folders, and even rang the bell before workshops one of the days.
Everyone else here had similarly packed schedules and added duties. It was an exhausting week, and yet
so much of it was fun.
I taught beginners classes, intermediate classes and even a workshop on asanas today. With all the teaching, each day was an affirmation of how much I love to teach. Guests were generous with their kind words and acknowledgement of my classes being good experiences for them.
I was happy that the yoga transmission was positive for them, and that I was able in a small way to be part of their practice.
The tours were also fun. Being able to share about the ashram with newly arriving guests was a labor of love. Workshop openings/closings and doing announcements - all were fun and a nice change of pace for me.
Everything, except the Gita folders and bell ringing, were done with a really positive and good heart.
On the day that my supervisor told me she needed help with folders for the Teacher Training Course Bhagavad Gita class, I had already planned to do an hour of asana practice, as I hadn't done any in days. Helping her, as I did, meant I had less than 15 minutes to do asana practice.
I was not happy about this assistance and the intrusion on my plans for my practice. If I had explained how much I needed the asana practice, I'm sure that I would have been encouraged to go and take care of myself. While I mentioned my intention of practice, it was a passing comment, rather than what it should have been said.
On the next day, when I was told to ring the bell, as it is done, 15 minutes before each workshop,
I had been going 6 days straight with hardly any asana practice - 10 or 15 minutes here and there was all I had time for.
I wasn't used to being in the non air conditioned outdoors all day, and the days were quite hot. I also
wasn't used to doing demonstrations, as is necessary, for beginners' classes, without having sufficient
warm up myself.
The bell ringing request sounded like an expectation to my imbalanced Pitta mind - with heat and the
intense nature of my schedule, and without time for relaxation - my Pitta was quite high.
The bell ringing addition to my day, unveiled a strong reaction and I 'lost it'. I usually happily do
most everything asked of me, but I grumbled and loudly complained about that bell ringing after my
supervisor had rushed off to her next duty (she too was covering for others and had a packed schedule).
I had no idea how to ring the bell and I was completely annoyed that I was now expected to do this task too.
I angrily pronounced after I rang the bell, 'this is it - I will do no more!'
The funny thing, as I look back at it, the bell ringing is so much easier than I imagined it to be. And, I could have said 'no' - the ever present dilemma of being a 'pleaser' from the time I was a little girl, according to my mother. It just didn't occur to me in my imbalanced stated.
The worst is now past for those who were sick, and I am only teaching one class today and not doing tours etc. I also took a much needed and great asana class and did my own long practice this morning and feel pretty amazing.
I am happy that I had the chance to teach so much and to meet so many nice guests when I gave the tours and attended the workshops.
It was noticeably energetic last night when we did our chanting, as some of the karma yogis returned to satsang for the first time in days. We all felt and expressed gratitude in our chants.
While not the enlightenment of a heightened spiritual nature per se, yet enlightenment about ourselves came to each of us this week.
For me, it was a really was a good week!
I am glad that everyone is now healthy, and we are back to our regular routines.
Sending You Love from the Bahamas.
Thank you for taking this journey with me!
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