Tag Archives: sadhu

Of This, I Am Sure

Three and a half years ago I woke up from having a dream while visiting my extended family in England and immediately wrote down its contents because I knew it was somehow necessary. I then wrote about it in the blog post Repairing My Cabin, but, in a nutshell, I felt that, through the dream, I had been called to India by a sadhu or guru there waiting for me (visit the post from 2013 to read the details of the dream).

I spent some time yesterday with my friend Nadia and our teacher, my guru, the igniter of my mission and life’s work, Joan, and towards the end of the visit we got to talking about India. I’ve never been, and to be honest, don’t really feel the pull to go. Regardless, I found myself relaying the contents of the dream I’d had all those years ago and told them that I suspected that I had been called to Mother India and had so far ignored that call. Without batting an eyelash, Joan explained to me exactly what that dream meant. She explained to me that for whatever reason, my family stemmed from the yoga lineage, and that I had been the one to answer the call. She explained to me that I had been initiated into the lineage on an astral plane. She explained that what the sage had handed me was my mission to devote my life to this lineage. She explained to me that my immersion in the water was my baptism, and that I had answered the call by devoting my life and career to this path I’m on. The second she told me this I understood, with a peaceful certainty and finality, that I really am the vessel for a divine will that is greater than any words could attempt to describe.

I thought I had chosen this path I’m on as a way of doing what I love to do as a career. I thought I was taking a massive risk to pursue my passion and not settle for a well-paying, secure job with benefits that everyone would approve of. I thought it was all up to me. And then I started having moments of teaching where words were coming out of my mouth and I didn’t know where they were coming from, nor where the knowledge they were conveying was coming from. I started to get students coming up to me after class telling me that it was like I was talking directly to them. And this continued to happen. Often. Really often. I began to not remember what I had said after a class was over, hoping the right words came out and I didn’t offend anybody. And then I started to understand my role as a vessel.

The universal law of Divine Proclamation states that “the ability of an individual to express, speak or proclaim in behalf of the Divine Forces is in direct proportion to the ability of the individual to cease expression, speech or proclamation in behalf of the self.” I was living this law. I had stopped speaking on behalf of myself and found myself speaking on behalf of forces greater than us. And it now happens almost every time I teach, speak publicly or write.

Joan’s presence in my life is so profound from a teacher-student point of view that I really can’t find the words to describe it. I have no doubt that there is a transfer of energy, of information, of insight and of wisdom that I get from her, often without a single word being spoken. This blessing of having a teacher for sixteen years who infuses my life with worth, vital information and clear direction is something I will take to my grave with me. I have never felt so filled with purpose, so sure of why I am here and what I am supposed to do with this time. And I have never been so certain that I am carrying out my dharma as a vessel for the divine. Of this, I am sure.

I’m having trouble conveying what is in my heart right now, but I’ll try to do my best here: Joan shows me what a real teacher is. A real teacher is one who awakens the student to their spirit, to their path, to their reason for being alive on earth, to their individual dharma. A real teacher ignites true understanding that is felt on a somatic level, not memorized from a textbook. A real teacher transmits what the student needs to know to then be able to find themselves undeniably aligned with forces greater than anything they could have ever considered as possible. A real teacher gives the student their life, illuminated and brilliantly meaningful.

Joan has done this for me for almost two decades. I hope that by accepting what was given to me in my dream years ago, I not only honour the example set by Joan, but that I leave at least one person understanding just how deep this student/teacher relationship roots itself. I hope that I affect at least one person as deeply as Joan affects me. I hope I serve as purely as she does.

Thank you Joan.


Repairing My Cabin

I’m still in England, staying with my extended family as I always do when I travel here. Over the past 15 years, these trips have always provided me with a real break from my daily life and responsibilities, and along with that have come some of the greatest moments of clarity and epiphany. Last night something happened that I’m still trying to process, and I wanted to share it with you.

I, obviously, am a huge believer in what yoga brings to our lives. The physical, emotional, intuitive, energetic…the benefits are innumerable, and they affect all aspects of my own life. I didn’t start teaching yoga with the intention of filling up my coffers or becoming wealthy, in fact, I’m very aware of what it takes to simply get the bills paid in this field of work. I also have never felt the inclination to run through training course after training course, and to be honest, I found my yoga teacher training to be possibly the hardest thing I’ve ever done. My reason for teaching stemmed from my passion for my own personal yoga practice. What I deemed über-personal and enlightening for myself ended up being what I felt compelled to share with the world. Nonetheless, with the growing demand to teach and speak and bring my message to people, I have noticed how easy it can become to let my personal practice fall by the wayside as my schedule gets busier and busier. The expression “The carpenter’s cabin is always the one in need of repairs” has rung true many a time in my career, and so when I came over to the UK this time, I vowed to come back to my home practice.

After only a few days of coming back to it, I did the typical things we do when bringing ourselves back to a pattern or practice that we have once known but have let fall away: I analyzed how a regular yoga practice affected me – my mood, my physical state, everything. I saw how much better I was feeling, physically, emotionally and mentally. All these things I felt in control of – I had made the decision to prioritize my practice, and these were the benefits I experienced as a result of that decision. And then last night I had a dream.

I was in India. Ok. Let’s stop here for a moment. India has never had a massive allure to me. I consider myself sensitive to suffering and sadness and having seen images and knowing the degree of poverty and suffering that exists in India, I’ve definitely felt an aversion to all that (dysentery has also always been a fear, if I’m being honest). Back to the dream now. I’m in India, at the top of a flight of stairs that borders a river. I’m in need of some kind of help (I can’t remember what was wrong), and before me is a sadhu (Indian sage) with long, dark hair and a beard, in orange robes. He gives me something (I can’t remember what, but it wasn’t a tangible, material object), and a sense of peace and gratitude washes over me. I started thanking him in earnest, my palms together in front of my forehead as I bow to him, thanking him over and over. He then walks a few steps away from me to the mouth of a long horn-like wooden instrument and blows into it, releasing a deep rumbling drone from the opening on the other side of it. I then turn, walk down the stairs to where I thought the sidewalk or road would be, but all is flooded, so I immerse myself in the water and start swimming, hyper-conscious of not letting the water into my mouth for fear of ingesting bacteria. I swim to the side where there are people lined up in single file, and as I join the line, a boy standing in front of me turns around and takes from me what I had attributed as being the blessing from the sadhu. I felt no panic or fear, in fact I realized that I could survive without what I had been given. And then I woke up.

I have read countless tales of people being visited by visions of sages in their dreams (A Search In Secret India and The Journey Home among others), and have always thought it fascinating. I never in my wildest fantasies ever thought I would have a dream like the one I did last night, and am so curious to see if this sage will manifest again somehow in my life. I feel steeped in spirituality today, guided by an energy that I have no control over, an energy that I somehow know will continue to bring me closer to true spiritual light the less I try to manipulate it. I feel so alive and wanted to share this experience with you…

I also wanted to ask if this has occurred to any of you before? Have you been visited in dreams or other states of (un/sub/super) consciousness by someone or something that you felt was guiding you? Let me know, and I will continue to share this ongoing experience as it unfolds to me…