I read this great email from one of my yoga teachers, Lisa Sanfillipo. I was having a frustrating day in front of a spreadsheet and on reading this email, I did some yoga, went for a run, read some more of Siddartha, meditated and had an early night. I woke up this morning feeling renewed. So thanks to Lisa!
I’ve just come back from 10 days in Paris, the city of Lights. And I feel truly lit up. I’ve spent time at both playful weekend workshops and a deeply transformative teacher training with John Friend, my primary teacher since I met him in 2003. He’s funny, smart, deeply attuned to everyone in the room, and has tremendous ability to make clear yoga’s real potential to shift us- towards awareness and joy in life- on so many levels.
The word- GURU. It means ‘that which removes darkness and shines the light’. It means ‘the weighty one’ (as in possessing gravitas). It also means ‘teacher.’ When I spend time with my teachers, I feel as though some of the darkest corners of my awareness have been touched, and illuminated. I have seen patterns in myself that need to fall away, and ways of teaching, learning and growing that can better serve my students, my friends and my colleagues on this journey.
After nearly a year and a half since seeing my teacher, this time I felt a particular softness in my approach to the teachings, and with that softness I was able to receive more of what was being offered. Instead of saying ‘I’ve studied with John for years now, I know what he’s going to say,’ I thought ‘I have changed. The way the teachings and the teacher will reach me will have changed. Let’s just see what happens.’ I was thrilled to be re-inspired by some of the same ideas reaching me differently and more deeply. As the old adage goes ‘you never visit the same river twice.’ Its contours change, and we change. For me, the river of this teacher-student relationship has been running for some time, and its banks have been carved more steeply, more deeply by the quickening current of practice and my own inner landscape’s shifting. And new ideas, new ways of moving in body, mind and heart all hit home with stunning force.
And so we drink from the river or receive the light of great teachings of yoga, each time differently, each time savouring the quality of our own illumination more fully, revealing the guru that exists in ourselves, revelling in all of our experiences- potentially even the most mundane- as teachers.
This month I am so pleased to offer you some great opportunities to come and meet my teacher, who is visiting from the US for 3 days… and even if you can’t, to share with me what’s emerged from my studies and shifts. It’s tremendous fun! See you on the mat.
With great love,
[end of letter]
Find out more about Lisa from her website: http://lisayogalondon.com/