Since that workshop with Dona Holleman in 1986, I found myself awake aware and ready for anything one morning as I was preparing to teach a class in the Recreation program of that University who’s first name begins with ‘H’.
It was a bright frozen January morning and the then-director of the program had given us permission to teach even though not a lot of students were around because it was ‘reading period ‘ a time when students prepared for exams.
Only one woman came to class that day, we’ll say that her name was ‘Karen’. She told me she was an administrator at the school. She was a beautiful young woman who was involved with overseeing significant functions and procedures at Harvard.
I suggested that we chant the mantra ‘Om’ at one point during her class. She responded in an urgent whisper, a pained sorrowful expression on her face ; ” Please don’t make us say that other mantra that also has ‘om’ in it. That’s the mantra that the Swami used ~ he raped me .
” Oh , I replied, I heard that he did have sex with a number of his female devotees. And you’re one of those persons. No, don’t worry, we won’t chant that mantra. ”
I summoned my ability to deal with this sensitive situation. I also asked Gurumayi to please help me resolve this woman’s post -traumatic stress from this event that probably occurred at least 10 + years prior to that day.
As the room filled with golden-orange sunlight, reminiscent of the silken orange robes that Gurumayi wore, I sensed her presence and her blessings of grace as I led Karen through a number of standing, grounding, twisting and forward-bending asanas . We ended the class with meditation in savasana, no ‘om’ , just ‘namaste’. It seemed that she was very pleased .
A week later I was teaching my regular class at the nearby Charles Hotel. Karen showed up with a guy who had bleach-blonde hair, handsome with a nice 5 o’clock shadow on his face, dark framed eyeglasses; ‘Donny’ ” ~ from California Yes , I like surfing. “, he laughed.
You could tell from their energy, proximity and interactions that they were obviously a couple. It really was cool to see them getting along so well~ and coming to my classes.
They came several more times between January and June ~ always happy, exuding good energy, in harmony and at ease. After graduation ceremonies that year , I never saw either one of them again.
( more commentary forthcoming )
copyright Ray Iasiello ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 2015