Friday, January 18, 2019

The Window of a Flower Shop

I was twenty and my sister was fourteen when we traveled to Israel on our own for the summer. We worked on a kibbutz in the heat of those dry days. When it came time, to go back home, I told my sister that I was staying.

When she reached the front door of our family home, my parents said, "Where's your sister?"  She told them that I'd stayed in Israel.

That October, I was wandering the streets of Jerusalem, when I spotted a sign on the window of a flower shop.  It announced a two week yoga class that was to meet for an hour each morning in the gym of a nearby elementary school. Then and there, I determined to attend.

At the gym, I was greeted by a thin dark man from India, now living in Mauritias, an island off the coast of Africa. He traveled and taught. Before you knew it, he had taught us many yoga poses, the most challenging being the headstand. He taught us to lean against the wall for support, so that we wouldn't topple over.

Back in my dorm in Kiriat Yovel, I diligently practiced all the poses. Returning to class, I remember telling my teacher, "I like the headstand, but I am afraid of the wall.  He replied, "This fear of the wall is from another life."

Today, everyone talks of past lives, but back then, I had never conceived of such a thing.

At the end of the two weeks, a reception was held to honor our teacher, followed by light refreshments and then questions and answers. I was too shy to ask a question, but afterwards I went to say my goodbyes and to thank him.

There was something troubling me; tears came to my eyes.  I said, "Swamaji, I love living here in Israel, but I deeply miss by brothers and sister back home."  Taking my hand, he replied, "Don't you know, we're all brothers and sisters."

This teaching was transmitted directly to my heart - it did not pass Go, it did not collect two hundred dollars. His message carved itself into a place in my heart and would not let go.

No comments: