Last week’s article, Dude, where’s my teacher, totally surprised me. I didn’t expect people to resonate with it so much. There were all kinds of comments, as it flitted around the social media sky.
The weird thing was, I’d written it on the Sunday night, exhausted, out of time, just wanting to go to bed, and I thought it had sucked.
I knew I hadn’t captured the most important nuances of my search for a Real Yoga Teacher.
So I’m back to dish up those nuances and set the record straight. Or at least, add another crook.
First, some relevant history.
When I returned to New Zealand in 2004, and began searching for a Real Yoga Teacher, that search was motivated in part because i’d had a Kundalini Awakening. I suspect it began in 2000 after a series of past life regression sessions with a Maui-base healer called Dennis Prince.
Dennis tried his damnest, but never got any past lives to show up during our sessions. He did however get my body to jerk spontaneously underneath his hand (which was held a few inches above my solar plexus), and my heart to blast wide-open.
I walked out of that particular heart-blasting, spine-jerking session feeling like I was on the purest MDMA possible (these were my drug-using party days). I was blissed out to the max. From that point on, whenever I totally relaxed – like in the shower, or smoking weed, I’d get these energetic sensastions of jerking and popping rising up my spine.
Fast forward to 2004. My drug-taking days were getting further and further apart, but I was still dabbling. Especially in the consciousness-expanding hallucinogenics like mushrooms and acid.
I was also meditating and practicing yoga.
Was (and is!)
And in my case led to an intensely trippy experience of blissed-out oneness that culminated in psychosis… not before I’d spontaneously performed all kinds of yogic kriyas and spoken in ancient Egyptian.
At least, that’s what my fiance thought it sounded like as he drove me down to Lion’s Gate Hospital and admitted me to the Acute Psych Ward.
So… when I came back to New Zealand… I’d wasn’t looking for a Real Yoga Teacher that was super bendy and knew all about how to do the best triangle pose ever. Nope, I was looking for a teacher who’d had experiences of Samadhi (bliss), knew about Kundalini and could help me put my experience into context.
Fat chance your average yoga teacher could fit that bill.
Hell, most yoga teachers don’t even know about Kundalini.
So I didn’t find a Real Yoga Teacher and last week I wrote about how I’ve resigned myself to accepting that Life is my Teacher and the Guru lives Within.
Which is only PARTLY true. And if I hadn’t been writing under a self-imposed deadline on toddler-exhaustion… I might have written about the rest of it.
Which is that I could sure as hell do with a Spiritual Master.
Some might call this a Guru but that word kind of freaks me out, so I’ll just say Master.
Like Dr. Lawrence Edwards, president of The Kundalini Research Network, as well as the founder of a kundalini support website,kundalinisupport.org does in this illuminating podcast interview on SoundsTrue as he talks about WHY we need a relationship with a master:
When our spiritual pursuit gets to a certain point, we must work with the confines of the ordinary ego-mind. And the ordinary ego-mind would like to say, “Oh, I’m the master! I can be in charge of this; I can teach myself. I can learn this.” That’s all the ego-mind speaking.
To get beyond the ego-mind, you’re going to need help. And that’s always been true.
Yup – and that’s exactly why I do wish I had a relationship with a Master. Because I’m been beyond the ego-mind, seen what it’s like and as a result, understand intimately just how wily, defensive and attached the damn ego/mind is.
From the inside looking out, it can be devilishly difficult to know when you’ve been suckered into an ego-defense.
Just ask any fallen Master. Especially those who’ve had on-going sexual affairs with their students.
So I don’t need someone to teach me yoga postures, I need someone to prick my ego with a pin when it gets inflated and self-important and full of BS.
Then, while musing upon this, I twitted upon this great article by Rupa over at The Yoga of Living - The Truth About Guru.
She simply, and clearly, demystifies the Guru Principle:
These should all line up:
- The guru within you
- The guru instructing you
- The opinion of the wise in your tradition
The teachings of the instructing guru must resonate with your own heart. If it makes you feel uneasy, don’t do it.
Likewise, the instructions of one’s heart should be corroborated by the wise and by sacred literature.
This is so nobody does something stupid and claims to be divinely guided. Puh.
This is great stuff. It makes total sense to me. I like it. A lot.
And so I find myself right back at the beginning again wondering, Dude, where’s my teacher? Or Guru? Or Master? Or Yoda?
Who’s my go-to-guy-or-gal when I need to make sure that it’s truly my heart and bestest self talking and not just the ego-mind?
Because I am serious about the spiritual path. I get this whole awakening thing. It makes total sense to me.
Over here in New Zealand Gurus & Masters are in short supply, especially accessible ones not too hung up on particular religious traditions… so what are we Kiwis meant to do?
If we’re serious about walking a path not just of the Bestest Triangle Pose ever, but of Spiritual Awakening… who do we look to?
Which got me to a’wondering, anyone got a line on a Master down here in New Zealand?