Working Backwards

Dear Friends,

Thank you all for your well wishes and immense support during these last few weeks. It has meant the world to me and helped keep me grounded in what really matters: service to God, to you and to the Yoga.

My trip to Miami was, to say the least, intense. I made a point to practice detachment and observation, not to get sucked into charisma, but also to remain open and loving. While I felt kind of bad I felt kind of bad being so sharply critical, I think it was necessary as I quickly saw many discrepancies in John’s words, teaching and actions. In my opinion, and from what John has said, the allegations against him are true, though we may never know to what extent. As Lila said, he remains cloaked by Shiva’s magic mirror (the mirror that reflects the Absolute in limited form thus “cloaking or inverting” the ultimate Reality but making the revelation of the full Self that much sweeter) – this is necessary to a degree because if he were to see everything at once he would probably be overwhelmed beyond reason. It is my most humble prayer that he remain held by the light of Grace during the revelation of all things, both good and bad, in the fullness of time. I give thanks for all that he has offered us and send him compassion and support for the difficult road he is now traversing. We cannot know his path, but pray it leads to an genuine experience of his highest good.

As for Anusara, Inc,. I do not know what will happen. John has agreed to step down – though we don’t yet know what that means – and take a leave of absence from teaching – we don’t know for how long. I’m cautiously optimistic about the organization being shifted into one that is vibrant, healthy and community run, but am still unsure what, if any, place I will have in it. Rest assured that regardless of my licensing decision, I remain committed as ever to teaching the Anusara method in all it’s beauty, elegance and precision.

Last night I dreamed of my grandfather. As we passed each other on the street, he smiled, reached out to say hello and wished me well. He was dressed as debonair as ever and for the first time in years looked joyful, robust, and radiant. He wasn’t young but he wasn’t old either. He was about 72, the age he was when he met Betty, his third wife, and the woman who opened him up to the experience of receiving and more importantly sharing love, even if just for her.

In my time on this earth I haven’t personally experienced much death. My maternal grandfather died when I was 3, my maternal grandmother when I was 20. My paternal grandfather died last September. From the moment he stepped out his retirement home, to entering the hospital, and then finally, in hospice, I was with him often. My first thoughts of granddad are of those final days: the shock at seeing him pale, grey, thin and shrivelled, shaking in his bed; peaceful in hospice as his breath slowed. I have to work backwards from here. I don’t want these to be my only memories of him so I focus and recall: showing up in his Sunday best to take me to a job interview; patiently (which was a miracle for him) learning to check stock prices on the internet; lunch at Wendy’s; Christmas in ’94; driving too fast over the hills in Providence, RI with Betty in the front seat yelling in her best Carolina drawl “Roy! You slow down now Roy, there are children in this car!” These are the memories I want to have. The are the ones I want to come to mind first. But his death is still too near and still too vivid.

So is Anusara. Anusara as we have known and loved it is dead. It will never, ever be the same. And that’s ok. That’s as it should be. But I don’t want its final days of the current incarnation to be the first thing that comes to mind when I think of it. I don’t want my memory of all the sweetness and opening and powerful learning and community to be colored by the sting of betrayal, pain, secrets, lies, divisiveness and confusion. Of course we need to remember these things if we are to grow, but I don’t want us to look back and see the darkness first. I want us to see the light. This will take time. We’ll have to work backwards. In time, I hope the memory of the light will out shine the shadow.

Whatever happens now to Anusara, whether it as an organization dies today, or rebuilds to something truly spectacular; whether I am a part of the new incarnation or not, I hope to meet it again, joyful, robust, and radiant.

Thank you again, my friends, for all that you do. For all the dedication and willingness to meet the full spectrum of this life in steadfast commitment to Love. You are an inspiration and I look forward to seeing you all soon.

There is a possibility that we will be having a special community gathering/practice, co-lead by Lila, Michelle, Hayley and myself, next Thursday, March 1st, from 5:45 – 7:15 (ish) at EVOLVE Movement in Raleigh. We’re working now to make sure our schedules line up and will let you know for sure in the next few days. This will be a free class and we hope you will all come out and join us and maybe even help lead us through the practice as we continue to share the amazing journey of our Yoga.

With love and highest regard,
Melinda

Below are links to a few articles and blog posts I have found helpful in the last few days.

Lila Rasa Brown ~ 2012 is Bringing it On!
Elena Brower ~ Art of Attention: Misconduct in the (Yoga) World
Amy Ippoliti ~ Bringing My Life Back into Persepctive: What Matters Most
Denise Benitez ~ The Threshold (poem I’ve been reading in class this week)

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