The last few months before moving permanently to Europe, I lived in village South Yarmouth on Cape Cod, a lovely finger-shaped peninsula sticking out from Massessusets into the Atlantic ocean. I had a friend living here who invited me and helped me find a place to live for a few months. It was during this time I completed work on my own training manual, called, Yogi’s World. It was a remarkable collection of material used as a base for the teacher training courses I taught until the official manual from KRI was completed. I was focused on completing this book and preparing myself for a new life in Europe.
Since it was winter, I joined the local spa to have a place to work out. I asked if they were interested in me teaching a yoga class. They were delighted and set a date in the following week. It was well attended and appreciated. I was also asked to speak at a local alternate church on the subject of living as a spiritual person in the world. Through this, I was invited to teach at another location and offered a room to do sadhana. Everything was going great . . . . .
until one day in my spa class, a woman came in late, disturbing everyone in the room and making a fuss about her problems getting there on time. She had a way of disturbing every class for the last few weeks and today, the students and I were out of patience. I cannot tell her to leave since we are taught as teachers to welcome everyone. So thinking I was being clever, I asked her if she realized she was disturbing all the students. She protested and said she did not think this was true. I then asked the students if they would prefer her to stay or go. In unison, the students all said, “GO”. She left. The class continued . . . .
for a few minutes until the assistant manager showed up and said I cannot throw a student out of a class since she is a paid member of the spa. I knew any protest would be useless but mumbled something in an attempt to smooth over the situation. It did not work.
In the morning I got a call from the manager informing me my class was canceled and I was not welcomed back. Then the nice people who had offered their room to use for free, contacted me to ask for the money I owed them. This was doubly strange since I left money each morning I used the room. Then a woman who had set herself up to promote me and my work called and declared she was in love with me and wanted to come over to see me. It was late and I asked her not to come. She showed up ten minutes later and demanded I let her into my home. I refused. She smashed in the front door and came in. I asked her to leave and when she refused, I called the police. In a funny twist, in the morning, the police showed up at my door and gave a court order telling me to keep away from this woman.
There were a few more strange things, but the overall effect was like being thrown out of town. A week before I was seen as a true spiritual teacher ready to serve and uplift all who came to a class with me. After these events, it was clear I had not fully honored my responsibility as a kundalini yoga teacher to accept every student. It was a powerful lesson and a great experience which I only needed to make once. I am grateful to have learned this lesson so I can help the next generation of teachers avoid such a disaster.
Being clever did not excuse me from my responsibility to accept everyone. I have never taught it is easy to be a teacher. It can be quite a challenge. The rewards are also huge. Situations like this and other struggles I have experienced, have given me a greater understanding of myself and the potential influence my actions can create. Building community through connections is the only way forward for this planet. This can only be done if no one, for any reason is rejected for being who they are.
To be clear, there are individuals who need special support, guidance, patience, and compassion. As a community of conscious people, there will be less and less such individuals. Every misfit, troublemaker, and terrorist, is still a human being who carries the light of truth within themselves. As a loving mirror, we can reflect that light back to the source. Somewhere in that thought are the words of Jesus Christ.