After teaching Level 1 teacher training for ten years, many past students were ready for the next level. I had almost no idea how to manage a Level 2 teacher training but felt the students were ready and waiting. I looked around for a model of a successful program that matched my view of how to best teach teachers. After checking out all the programs in Europe, I decided that the Level 2 course taught by Karta Singh offered the most experience-based training. An approach that matched my observation of what makes a successful training. At the summer yoga festival in France, I approached Karta to ask for his support. His program was ten years old, so it would help me avoid many beginner mistakes. He was very open and welcoming and in the end agreed to co-teach a level 2 course with me, with one requirement. I first must attend the six training modules he offers in his school. I agreed. Some years later he told me he had been warned about me, but since I approached him with respect and agreed to his conditions, he had agreed to work with me.
The plan was to attend all his modules and to start my own L2 program with him as a co-trainer in about one year. The actual start was delayed and the attending of the modules took a bit longer due to scheduling conflicts with my own training programs, but we were on our way. Now the time had come for me to start attending his modules.
The next scheduled module was Lifestyles & Lifecycles. Back then, 2007, it was called the Prosperity Week. The location was about 40 minutes outside Stuttgart in an area with hills and few landmarks, signs, or lights. I had written instructions, no GPS at that time, and was not having much success following the notes. After going up and down a few hills with no success, I spotted some lights in the distance and headed in that direction. Upon arriving it was clear this was not the place since people were drinking beer and singing. But I went in to ask for directions. They spoke almost no English and I do not speak German. I showed them the piece of paper with the name of the center where I needed to go. They nodded their heads in recognition and with some excitement decided to take me there themselves. This involved one of them getting into my car to direct me and two more people following in the car behind to take my guide back.
We drove along one dark winding road after another, then up a steep winding road. My mind pictured all sorts of dark thoughts, unknown people, unknown location, unknown intentions. Breath deep and keep going I told myself.
Eventually, there is a sign with the name of the place I was looking for and we pulled into the driveway. I thanked them very much even managing a few German words of thanks.
My guide was now following me into the retreat space. I explained he could go back, but he just continued to follow me. He wanted to make sure I would find my group and he was curious. We entered the room where the yogis were sitting about to have some soup, my guide’s eyes widened and he got most excited and indicated he would be right back. As he walked out, the group acknowledged me. I only knew Karta and the rest of the 15-20 people were unknown to me or me to them. Just then, the guide returned with the two people from the other car and he was holding an accordion. Without any hesitation, he started playing and the three of them began singing and inviting the rest of us to join in.
They thought the yogis were having a party and they wanted to be helpful. They were also a bit drunk. Half the group of yogis found this amusing and joined in. The other half were in shock and unsure what to make of this chaotic scene. Karta found the whole thing quite amusing. After about 15 minutes of singing, accordion playing, and general silliness, the group was encouraged to leave us to do our own work. We thanked them for their great service in delivering me, and for their entertaining.
When they left the room, we looked around in a bit of shock. Karta, who often seizes an opportunity for teaching, said my unusual arrival was a great beginning for the week. I believe everything happens for a reason, and we can learn from every situation in life.
Note: Although Karta Singh has left KRI and is going is own way, he gave many useful contributions to spread the teachings of Yogi Bhajan. I am grateful for his support and the generous sharing of his knowledge to make our Level 2 teacher training program, an extraordinary experience-based training. Based on the teachings from Yogi Bhajan, we offer remarkable processes for the students to understand, at a cellular level, how to be a Level 2 teacher.