Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Although his body is gone, Pattabhi Jois is still bringing people together.

This was the case yesterday, when some teachers and direct students got together for a 10am Memorial practice in his honor.

The practice was wonderful; excellent (slow) breathing and focus and very little talking, except for when the neighbors downstairs got tired of The Machine's third series jumps and turned the music up loud (this was after they'd had it up loud the night before, til 12:45am).

Then some of us met at the corner for a tender coconut.

The coconuts were of course wonderful, although they were Thai (nutty flavor) rather than Indian (more subtle).

Next we headed one block north to Mysore Woodlands for dosas and thali (South Indian meals) and storytelling.

People dropped by one by one.

All of us were together because of Guruji and his teaching. Some had gone to his workshops in NYC, some to Florida, some to Mysore, and some were simply teaching his practice. It was six (actually one or two) degrees of SKPJ.

JF brought photos from his 2005 (?) NYC workshop. We look like teenagers in them...

TR pointed out that when you told Guruji you were from Chicago, his eyes would light up and he'd say, "Yamy!" How he loved Amy Beth, who will hold a puja / prayer session for him Thursday night at 9 at YogaNow, 742 N. LaSalle.

We ended the meal by splitting a bar of chocolate - Guruji's favorite (thank you, PH).

After I got home though, it all began to sink in.

Pattabhi Jois really is gone.

Yes, the practice will stay with me.

But that part of my life - a decade of running to Mysore or New York or Florida to see him, or subbing and scrimping and saving and planning planning planning to go there - seems to be over.

The mind is very sad.

But it will get over it.


  1. cara~ does this mean you will no longer travel to mysore?

  2. The vibe feels different when Guruji's not there, and last year I did not feel very welcome at the shala.

  3. Anonymous4:38 PM

    The Guru always waits patiently. Still, this may be the last opportunity to choose in this lifetime. Patiently, She waits.

  4. Anonymous5:26 AM

    Bad Lady !!!
    Why ?

  5. gopala dasa12:49 PM

    Especially in bhakti yoga the value of service to sri guru in separation is both acknowledged and extolled.

    In fact, the intensity of such service can be viewed as an indicator of a sadhaka’s/yogin’s advancement, for the preference to practice in the guru’s manifest presence is forcibly denied by the passage of time.

    In traditions that depend upon parampara, or the transmission of knowledge from one to another, the responsibility on the student to propagate the teaching becomes very heavy when the guru departs. Of course, since guru also means “heavy,” the implication is that it is time for the student to become guru. That’s heavy...