Coming up on the end of the first month in the Year of Gratitude . . . since I’ve already given shout-outs to my parents in my bio, it’s about time to start thanking teachers.
An argument could be made that everyone I meet is a kind of teacher. That our presence in each other’s lives serves some purpose, big or small, so lessons could be drawn from any given encounter.
This series is specifically intended for yoga classroom/ashram teachers I’ve studied with either briefly or extensively who’ve opened some door (or two or three or countless!) along the spiritual path. I’ve had a few terrible teachers, especially in the early years of my asana practice 12 years ago – but that didn’t stop me! For the most part, teachers have been sincere, sometimes profound, and generous with their wisdom.
The first teacher in the series is Priscilla Potter Swami Mahatarananda, founder and director of The Yoga Connection, the non-profit yoga center where I participated in my first yoga teacher training program. Priscilla taught me more lessons than I’m able to list here, grace under pressure, dedication to community, the ways of Kriya Yoga, and how to balance the householder life with being a yoga teacher. I couldn’t believe my luck when she told me that she too had traveled the world for many years, even lived in Africa, teaching yoga undercover as it was still a practice shrouded in mystery there – and she made her way back home. Eventually, after serving in a monastery for several years, she founded The Yoga Connection, and her community there absolutely love her, for all her service, selfless and from the heart.
Thank you, Priscilla, for shedding light and opening doors …
Prayer to the Guru
Guruh saakshaat param brahma tasmai shree gurave namah.
Guru is the creator (Brahma); Guru is the preserver (Vishnu); Guru is the destroyer (Maheshvara); Guru is verily the Supreme Absolute. To that Guru we prostrate.
Dhyaanamoolam gurormoortih poojaamoolam guroh padam;
Mantramoolam gurorvaakyam mokshamoolam guroh kripaa.
The Guru’s form is the root of meditation; the Guru’s feet are the root of worship; the Guru’s word is the root of Mantra; the Guru’s Grace is the root of liberation.