My Teacher Read This In Yoga Class…

12 Sep

The Great Work by Hafiz, from “The Gift”


Is the great work

Though every heart is first an



The slaves beneath the city of Light.


This wondrous trade,

This magnificent throne your soul

Is destined for–


You should not have to think

Much about it,


Is it not clear

An apprentice needs a teacher

Who himself


Has charmed the universe

To reveal the wonders inside his cup.


Happiness is the great work,

Though every heart must first become

A student


To one

Who really knows

About love.


My yoga teacher, Robin Pickering, then talked about how we can envision everyone on similar paths, climbing up the steep face of a mountain, some a little ahead and some a little behind.  She said that you can have teachers who are at the top of the mountain, who have reached the peak, but sometimes, the best teachers are the ones who are just a few steps ahead of you, who can say, “This is the best handhold,” or, “Be careful of that loose rock.”  They have just been exactly where you are, so they can give you the most specific instructions for how to chart your course.

She asked us to picture our teacher, and the one who came to my mind was one who is really far ahead of me, whose wisdom helps me immensely.  But it got me thinking to also keep my eyes peeled for those teachers who are just a few steps ahead of me on the mountain who can help boost me up a little higher.  And also, to remember to look behind me and see who is two steps back, who I can reach out to and lend a helping hand.  So we can all help guide each other up the rough terrain of the mountain, and enjoy the views together.

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