I've only been here one day (and last night) and I've already experienced so much. Not only the insane amount of knowledge that Jonni (Jonni Pollard is co-founder of 1 Giant Mind and is leading our meditation teacher training) is so graciously offering to us, but the other 18 people (not including the production and crew) and hearing their life stories and how we all ended up in this time and place together.
Last night we all joined together for dinner at Divya's Kitchen, an aryuvedic restaurant in the lower east side. The owner, Divya, prepared the meal for us herself. It was warm and nourishing - jasmine rice and cauliflower curry, spicy chutney, and bright red dahl - a delight for all of our senses. We all got to meet and greet, and despite the fatigue from travel and jet lag, there was a buzz in the room.
As you read above, this morning was get up and go. Just so you know, I usually wake up around 7 / 7:30am when I'm home, to give you some context of the extremity of this situation. Since we're on set until 5pm, and knew we (Caley and I) would just be wiped out, we decided to get our day started off in the most ideal way possible, so as to set ourselves up for success. Even though we had 2 hours to meditate, work out, and get ready, the time flew by and we were rushing out the door to make our call time.
The set is gorgeous, and sooo my vibe. Peachy pink walls, mid century modern furniture, and gold accents - right up my decor alley! It is set up so that Jonni is facing us, and we are seated in almost stadium like tiers across from him. The platforms we're sitting on are cushioned in a deep navy velvet with plenty of pillows for that extra comfort.
After a little powder on the nose, we dive right into the juicy stuff. We're talking about the importance meditation is in our society today, and the responsibility of mediation teachers need to uphold. We discuss the need for more community and connection, and how we, as meditation teachers, must be the facilitators of this experience. We went into a great debate about what is appropriate in a student-teacher relationship, and how we are serving a greater good, so as not to divulge in bodily urges. One of the points that resonated with me most was about the embodiment of a teacher.
With social media, and I'm not sure about other parts of the country or world, but in Los Angeles specifically, being a yoga teacher nowadays can feel more like carrying a designer handbag instead of cherishing the position to be able to change peoples lives. Does that make sense? What I'm trying to say is that it feels more superficial than ever. When I started teaching yoga it was because it saved me from a dark depression, and I wanted to provide those tools to bring light to people's lives. Now it's for show. That's obviously a broad generalization, and of course there are true and honest teachers who truly walk the path, but for the most part, its really how I feel these days.
So what does it mean to really lead? It doesn't mean standing on a soap box and preaching shallow ideals. On the contrary, it means deeply embodying the practices we are sharing. It means doing the work, every single day. It means facing our demons, and sitting in silence. It means transcending ego, and making the commitment to serve for the highest good of the community.
I promise, to myself and to you all, that I am not going to be the one who just talks the talk. I am going to walk the gosh darn walk!
Well, thats my takeaway from today. I'm just over the moon to be here and to absorb this information so that I can be another conduit of energy and knowledge to you all.
SURPRISINGLY I didn't take a single photo today, but will make sure to get some goodies for you all tomorrow.
I LOVE YOU ALL.