Participatory Spirituality for the 21st Century
Lately my interest in yoga as been mildly catalyzed.
I have usually been somewhat of a dabbler in traditions and disciplines, including yoga. However, stimulated by these eastern traditions at the moment, there seems also to have been deeper-flowing currents of interest and "back-burner" simmering in wait for moments of integration, perhaps, and hibernating readiness to act within the discipline. I feel some of that happening now.
My primary exposure to yoga was through TKV Desikatchar and his implicit lineage from his father Krishnamacharya. [As you may know, Iyengar is Krishnamacharya's nephew.]
What is precipitating this post are a couple of quotes, and there are many more on the linked website of Paul Harvey, one of the teachers.
This first quote is particularly resonant with me for so many of areas of my life, perhaps partly due to my temperament, character, personality, and even neuroses. Along with "guru", I substitute in physician, guide, parent, surf instructor, momentarily helpful friend, dare I say "God":
“A guru is not one who has a following. A guru is one who can show me the way.
Suppose I’m in a forest and somehow I’ve lost my way.
Then I meet somebody and ask, “Can you show me the way home?”
That person might say, “Yes, you go this way”.
I say “Thank you,” and I go on my way. That is a guru.“
– TKV Desikachar
This quote reinforces and explicates a bit the above one. I seem to need that wiggle room in so many areas of my life, to find my own understanding, embodiment, approach, and even glitchy and faulty path, probably far beyond what this lineage and gurus would consider optimal. Hopefully, ... well, ... what can we really say about knowing how to be, even from a refined super-wise tradition. Hah. Ehem:
“The target of Yoga is ‘svatantra’ which means to discover our own technique.
‘Sva’ means itself and ‘tantra’ means technique.
The techniques are in oneself and we must discover them;
if not we will depend on others. I am sick and I go to the doctor;
but finally I must become my own therapist.
This is ‘svatantra’.”
– TKV Desikachar