I’ve noticed a trend within the yoga community and in the bodywork world that bothers me. It’s been sitting in front of me for a long time and I sometimes fall prey to it as well. The notion is that there’s an Asian master. In a far off land removed from American consumer society there’s a secret land, a Shangri La where a master holds some secret that’s pure.
I know that asian traditions have wisdom for westerns to draw from, as a yoga instructor and Thai massage teacher it’s obvious that I respect these traditions. At the same time I’m a westerner, I’ve little use for sanskrit, less use for gurus in the traditional sense and I take what I can learn from and leave the rest behind. These wisdom traditions have things to share, things we can benefit from but I don’t hold religious zealotry about it.
People in asia are just humans, people like us. As east and west continue to collide and westerners look for guides and road maps it’s important to remember that the truth that we need lives inside us. Be quiet and listen.
I love what BKS Iyengar, Ramana Maharshi, Neem Karoli Baba, Osho and other teachers have to share. Part of me is a westerner though, I grew up in a different culture, a different time and place with youtube. We can pick and choose who our teachers are and there are many of them. Before we run to far off lands to find them let’s remember they also live inside us.