Below is my reply to an email I received from “A” that commented on my “Goodbye Vancouver” letter. The email said:
“I think that was a very negative email. You should always leave on a good note and not cut down others. You are a business as well.”
Thank you for taking the time and sharing with me your thoughts.
As for your observation of my email as a negative one:
I guess negativity is a perception, like everything else. By now I received, unexpectedly, 97 replies to my goodbye email, and only two of them considered my email as negative. Yours is one of the two. Nonetheless, these two emails are not less important to my heart than the rest. Somehow the other people didn’t perceive my letter as negative. Both perceptions are valued.
If you are interested in my perception my letter was simply an observation, only from my personal experience of the yoga world, today, and not anyone else’s. So you can either agree with it, or not agree, or be indifferent to it…
I started practicing yoga 36 years ago and I can tell you the practice was very different. Yes, the world is changing, as everything else, but I can share with you that one of the things we did with yoga, as westerners, is that instead of changing ourselves through the spiritual practice, we changed the practice to suit our restless mind and lifestyle, as it makes things easier . In this way we do not need to go through the transformation that spiritual discipline requires, and we all know how challenging this transformation can be.
And yes you are right, I am a business my self. You can call any exchange a business. The question is: what is coming as first priority… the business or the teaching.
From my humble point of view the distinction is between giving our students what they want so they keep coming to us and keep our profits rolling, or giving students what they need, without the fear that we may lose them if they can’t handle the transformational power of the deeper spiritual teachings of Yoga. The “job” of a spiritual teacher is to do whatever needs to be done without the thought of being either popular or loved.
But as I said, this is only my humble observation and experience as a yogini, and I accept with love that it does not resonate with everyone.