friend and yoga teacher, reflects on his 13 years as a part of the Bermuda Yoga community!
My thirteen years on Bermuda were certainly a fruitful time for my journey of inner exploration. Initially i was disappointed there was no ashtanga class--but that lack gave me the impetus to start one. You showed great patience while my communication skills came up to speed ( i was horribly sleep deprived those first four years! :) and we shared some heavenly sunset practices on Caso's Point.
Our meditation gatherings developed beautifully over the years. Although the basic format remained remarkably similar since '07 i loved that we were always trying new things We strived for transformational intensity without limiting ourselves to only one particular spiritual tradition. Our collective wish to explore deeply and authentically allowed us to have fun with some variety. The one constant throughout the three-dozen weekends was that (always shocking) midday Sunday revelation that "It had --again-- just been worth it!"
In viewing some infant/childhood photographs that my sister put together for my 60th i can see that i didn't quite get around to fully embodying way back then. (I attribute it to long nights spent sitting up watching my asthmatically constricted breathing--and perhaps just an innate love of deep inner spaces).
Along with a few decades of asana practice what helped stretch me down to earth were the extremely challenging, radical, fun movement practices that Shannell, Debbie and Christina shared at those Meditation Weekends. My sense of being on this planet has been more comfortable since then. My feet feel more firmly rooted to the earth and my limbs moved more spontaneously and playfully.
If that failed there was always the great swirling turquoise ocean (usually turquoise--i liked the grey big wave days too) whose embrace reliably absolved me of my sins (my excess stresses eh).
Thank you all for your warm presence, openness and courage. Y'all do good yoga on Bermuda!
p.s. Hariakhan Baba was a much loved sadhu/yogi who wandered the foothills of the Himalayas ( for a few hundred years apparently : ) Some of his appearances were captured in photographs in the early half of the last century and then described in the little book Known, Unknown by Baba Hari Dass.
Last week I finally made it out to the Salt Spring Yoga Centre in the middle of the island. I arrived quite early for a yoga class and had some time to peruse their library. The Centre was founded by Baba Hari Dass back in the 70s so I looked through their library but did not find that little book, 'Known, Unknown'.
In the yoga studio the altar of course displays a half dozen pictures of Baba Hari Dass--along with the very image of Hariakhan Baba I have been meditating upon. Seeing it there was like meeting an old friend--one of the great joys in life!
I also look forward to meeting you again one day.
The view from another little island: Mount Baker, in the very middle of this photograph from Mount Maxwell, is 124 km away. It's immense. Hopefully it won't blow its top anytime soon (since it is one of those geography-altering volcanoes)."