It's been a while for a blog, it's been an interesting time with the kids. I find myself, with a big knot on my head from hitting it into the brickwall that is the current population at JDC. These last two months have been hard, walking through fire is an understatement. I am grateful and ever blessed to have my teacher Karen to help me navigate these waters.
After long contemplation and meditation, this process of fire, alchemic change has stuck with me. There has not been a large population of kids, there has not been a huge turnover, there has been a fire, an opportunity for a teaching.
Long ago I knew that teaching in JDC is where my heart was, kids who are broken need the message that they are good. I have carried that torch of greatness into the jail for almost 3 years. And today I sit in understaning that I may think the kids are great, I may feel they are perfect, but they do not-- and here in lies our alchemic change. It really was a matter of time, a quote that keeps coming to me is " The Divine breaks your heart until your heart breaks open." The kids of JDC, have had their heart broken, several times in their life, they are used to it-- and because they have had it broken they have a very thick and well adhered scar---when I would say they were good and wonderful and perfect, even in thier imperfection-- there's no way they could understand because they have no direct experience in those feelings-- not saying that they don't exist in them, just that at this moment their direct experience is different.
My heart had to make the change, I had to make the shift in my teaching, and then my heart broke. How could I have placed the responsibility of their greatness on them? How selfish and unfair of me to even suggest that I their "great and powerful" teacher could possibly think that my teaching, my "brillient, well thought out" teaching could ever possibly break the shell that houses them--their armour, their protection. That is not my job, my dharma is to teach and hold them in light and even if they cannot see it, I still need to hold the fire.
I was who was lost, I am who is trying to force and there in lies the alchemic change, who am I to think that I could do this. Force without reciprocation is just that, force and these kids have felt forced their whole lives-- into every kind of situation that you can imagine--
I went back to the foundation, the way I taught in the beginning, when I was excited just to spend an hour with these great kids, and today we laughed, and joked, and moved in a different rhythm-- I didn't force, they didn't force-- we flowed in and out of poses, and in and out of each other.
I forgot, and I projected that onto them-- teaching yoga is about the transmission of unconditional love, love of my teacher, love of being a student, love of my patient and kind students, love of knowing that together we traverse the spectrum of Grace. We traverse, not drag kicking and screaming.
Today was a change, and today remembrance came into my heart-gratitude to the teachers who forged the path, gratitude to Karen who holds my light as I sit in the seat of the student.