Guises of the Guru

As a yoga teacher, I have often been perceived as having attained an ongoing state of enlightenment, one that has brought me out of this human body and ego and that sets the example of where all yogis aspire to be. Let me take an opportunity to shatter that perception 🙂 I am as much of a work in progress as anyone…I consider myself to be a student who teaches, someone who is always seeking and learning, with the aim to pass on that which I find pertinent and relevant to living a conscious, productive, inspiring life. As part of my learning curve, I find myself being taught lessons and being offered insight from all over the information spectrum…from people I know, and those I don’t, from animals and humans alike, and from the whispers of intuition I find myself hearing every now and again.

Last week, for those of you who weren’t already saturated with the exposure, U2 spent a few days here in Montreal to give 2 shows to 160,000 people, and while in town, they stayed at the St James Hotel, which is a few blocks away from Centre Luna Yoga, where I spend most of my working and practicing hours. I was coming to work on my scooter and stopped at the red light right on the corner of the hotel, where about 100 people were staked out, waiting to catch a glimpse of the band members, and the anticipation was palpable. The mood seemed edgy, like people were ready to pounce when finally they would be afforded the luxury of seeing the band for a few seconds. As I drove by, my first thought was, “Don’t these people have something to do? Don’t they have a job, or somewhere they’re supposed to be?’ It was a moment of real bewilderment for me, and absolute judgement. I was 100% judging the people staked out there, while being completely incapable of understanding why they would waste their time like that to catch a brief glimpse of people they didn’t know and probably never would. I wondered what they could possibly be getting out of the experience, aside from a sore lower back and sun stroke. Then I got to the studio and shared the experience…and I got schooled.

My fellow Luna Yoga teacher (and certified Jivamukti instructor) Dawn Bailey was already at the studio when I arrived and after I sat down, I shared with her what I had just driven by, and expressed my astonishment at why those people would be hanging around like that, which led into a rant about our irrational fascination as a society with celebrity. I ended my comments by asking, “Why would someone choose to just waste their day like that?”, and Dawn replied. And I found myself speechless. Dawn answered my question by saying that as much as she understood my point of view, she could honestly say that if she knew that Jivamukti creators Sharon Gannon and David Life were staying at a local hotel, she would probably hang out waiting to see them as they walked in or out on their meanderings. She told me that the opportunity to be privy to their aura, to the energy they exude, would be worth every second of hanging around waiting to see them. And in that second, having heard her words, I understood. I understood that the people I look up to and with whom I’d love to spend time, those whose energies I find attractive and inspiring, are my U2. I don’t think that I would ever find myself waiting patiently to see one of my idols walk by me, because I have something inside me that drives me to want to meet them on a more professional level, where I’m not just a gushing fan showering them with praise. Nonetheless, I understood Dawn’s remarks, and it showed me something. It showed me that I’m still very quick to judge. It showed me that my gurus may not be shared by others, and vice versa, but that doesn’t devalue these people’s abilities to remove darkness in the lives of their followers. It showed me that those who have accomplished incredible things and who inspire the world with their magnificent energies are able to infuse that energy into other by simply being in close proximity. That is makes a difference to those ready to receive it. Most of all, the experience showed me that I’m still learning, and I hope I never stop.

Thank you for being a teacher for me, Dawn 🙂

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5 thoughts on “Guises of the Guru”

  1. If I hadn’t been in line for TWO days waiting to see these shows (yes, plural, LOL), I would’ve been one of those people waiting at the St. James 🙂 Why? Because as a diehard (OK, maybe crazy) U2 fan, I’ve realized that the band is about more than just music and lyrics. It’s really about community (see: the fans) – I have met some amazing people along the way, some of whom have become close friends over the years; people who share a love of music, but who also have a deep appreciation for Bono the humanitarian, for the simple fact that unlike most rock stars or celebrities, this band actually uses their cash and power to do good things. It’s not about what’s good for them, but what’s good for society, the world etc. Many people who look to meet the band really just want to say thank you – both for the musical journey and for what they support (Amnesty, Greenpeace, (RED), ONE, etc.) 🙂

    PS: The shows were AH-Mazing! And yes, I know I sound like a groupie, but I’m not =-D

  2. Friday at noon, I accompanied a friend to an appointment with a girl who wanted to sell tickets for the show Saturday night. This girl gave us an appointment at Metro Square Victoria, near the Hotel St. James. When she arrived, the girl was very enthusiastic, very energetic and she radiated a beautiful energy. Then she told us she was waiting outside the St. James hotel in the hope that the members of U2. After the exchange of tickets, she immediately said she had left quickly because she feared missing out of Bono and co. I remember having a reaction like yours, Bram, wondering what these people could withdraw to see these stars only a few seconds out of a hotel.
    But now, after reading your blog, I can believe that people take an advantage of be in presence, even if only a few seconds, of a person who radiates an energy that fascinates them, an energy that they can admire and motivates them. Like a believer can strengthen their faith by seeing the pope passing by with the popemobile. (Bono would surely be pleased to know that I compare him with the pope… 😉
    Thank you Bram for this great post!

  3. your self awareness is refreshing!! the fact that you were able to observe your judgement, and also be able to see the other side, makes you ahead of so many in terms of finding inner peace. You are never too old to learn new tricks right!? =D

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