Honoring Our Teachers

This weekend, I have the wonderful pleasure of studying once again with Betsey Downing, a Master Yogini, whom John Friend has affectionately referred to as the "Grande Dame" of Anusara Yoga.

Betsey was one of my first two teachers, and I took my first yoga teacher training with her, back in 1996. And, she was the first person who game a job teaching yoga back in 1997. But here she was, beginning the Friday night session of her weekend workshop, taking the time to honor her whole lineage of teachers - all those who had gone before her and brought her to the place that she is today.

I marveled at the fact that here I was, at her feet once again, with my current teacher, Suzie Hurley, who is also a dear friend of hers. In her introduction of Betsey, Suzie expressed gratitude and joy for the opportunity to enjoy Betsey as a student herself this weekend. And as I have noted before, a good teacher is always - first and foremost - a good student!

Another one of those present last night, is a friend who completed teacher training with me as well. The room was filled with teachers and students of all levels. And so, it occurred to me, that the lineage continues. I receive - what has been passed on. And I pass on - what has been received, in an endless circle of time and eternal dance...

I thought of my own lineage of teachers - and how everyone has had an impact on me in some way. Some of my teachers, I have honored by trying to embody the essence of what they imparted. Others, held up a mirror to where I needed to work, and showed me the kind of teacher I did not wish to be. So, we learn from all of our teachers, and thus, must be grateful for all of them...

Betsey's theme was: "Riding the Waves of Change," and she wove it with great artistry throughout her wonderful sequence of poses, that was perfect and delicious for a Friday night.

She noted that we are living in the midst of a major planetary shift in consciousness, and that we truly chose to be here - at this time - to be a part of this process, and thus we were people of the Light.

Betsey invited us to "become artists of the possible," and to "ride the waves of change by grounding ourselves in meaningful practices," such as yoga and meditation. The whole evening was an invitation to re-commit ourselves to those practices that were life-affirming.

I found myself driving home, late last night, grateful for Betsey's gentle presence. She is truly a Master, and one who gets better with age, like a First Growth Bordeaux. I expressed gratitude for the whole lineage of teachers that have supported me - and have supported my own teachers as well - for what we have received - we pass on to a new audience and generation. We plant seeds that germinate. We cast pebbles into rivers and oceans that ripple out to distant shores. We choose to change and become most fully the People of the Light to make this world a better one. What better task is there to do?


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