Sunday, February 20, 2011

Was it rain that kept the students away today?

On the way to class in the rain today, I was reminded of the three Pedros I dated when I was a student in Madrid.

Spain has been on the mind quite a bit lately, as I make my way through a six-part Spanish miniseries about St. Teresa of Avila. (I'm cannot get enough of the Catholic mystics these days).

The miniseries was made by TV arm of where I did my internship.

Pedro el Primero worked there, too. He was a charming blue-eyed rubio (blonde) from Andalucia. I remember dancing with him and watching Los Gritos del Silencio (The Killing Fields) with him.

I don't recall if Pedro el Segundo worked. He was a Madrileño rocker who lived with his family and was a dead ringer for a young Elvis / Krishna. He had a massive poster of Nina Hagen on his wall, and explained that Madonna had stolen all of her (early) schtick from her. "¡Ella tiene mucha cara [cheek], Cara!"

Pedro el Tercero was a Basque architecture student who liked to hacer yogging (go jogging) and had impeccable taste in music. I fell hard for him, and whenever I do the paradise meditation I inevitably envision his beautiful hometown of San Sebastian.

But it was Pedro II who hated the rain.

One day he stood me up for our date, on a Sunday near el Rastro.

"Por que?" I asked.

"¡Cara!" he said, with a hint of exasperation in his voice. "¡Está lloviendo!"

Perhaps that's why only two people came to class today: ¡Está lloviendo! (it's raining).

Of course there is the distinct possibility that I suck as a teacher. After all, it's a prime-time slot. You'd think people would come even if a trained monkey were teaching.

The two students who did come received Dharma calendars, which mysteriously arrived in the mail this week.

Afterwords, the lower mind couldn't help but do the math:

Two students minus $3 parking equals $7 for teaching a 90-minute class.

The lower mind couldn't help but recall CK earning more per hour as a hung-over teenage busgirl at Raymond's back in 1978 - even after paying cabfare.

And the higher mind couldn't help but think, "Thank God it's not about the money!"

Thank. God.

Yet rent is still due March 1.....

rain or shine.


  1. Yes, $7 for teaching a 90-minute class does not help pay the rent. I hope you make more than that when you come to DeKalb next weekend.

    However, tell me more about the six-part Spanish miniseries about St. Teresa of Avila.

    Ralph from DeKalb

  2. Hi Ralph!

    It's called St. Teresa of Avila, and you can get it thru Netflix. I love it, but want to know more. So I've ordered her autobiography from the library.

  3. C.K.

    I have a biography of St. Teresa that I’ll give you. It’s by Victoria Lincoln, and I bought it a number of years ago. This book was for a class on mysticism that I team taught, but never used because it was too detailed. I’ll bring it Sat. to the workshop.

    Are you into Carl Jung? If so, there is a book by Dr. John Welch (a Carmelite Catholic priest) in which he relates St. Teresa and Jung. My younger daughter used this book when she was at the Harvard Divinity School. She bought me my copy, and since then, I have found a number of people who highly recommend it. Let me know if you are interested, and I’ll keep this in mind with the up-coming retreat in March.

    Ralph from DeKalb

  4. Sorry I didn't make it to class Sunday, ladies holiday . You are not a sucky yoga teacher but there are alot of them out there.

  5. Ralph - I've not read any Jung, so I'm probably not ready for that one!

    MCGP - thank you for the kind words.

  6. I second mcgp in her comments. I think it's safe to rule out "sucking" as the reason. Getting used to waking up 5 AM isn't easy, and I wouldn't try for "just anyone."

    What is it that interests you about the Catholic mystics?

  7. The class was at 10am!

    I like that the Catholic mystics have direct experience of God. I like them for the same reason I like the Sufi mystics, etc. It is what we are also trying for with yoga. I also like that they come from a western perspective; it feels familiar to me.

    But I was not raised Catholic (or anything for that matter) and know very little about it.

    I also liked the film Into Great Silence and the one about Hildegard von Bingen.

  8. C.K. – you might want to ‘sample’ a couple of ‘modern mystics’. One is Thomas Merton who was a Trappist monk. He and the Dalai Lama were very close as well as with Thich Nhat Hanh. He also was well known in the Sufi community.

    The other favorite of mine (although not as well known) is the French mystic, philosopher, and activist – Simone Weil (“Vey”). Her whole life and mystical experiences are quite remarkable. Do you have a cassette player? If so, I have just the tape for you that is about her.

    Ralph from DeKalb

  9. Ralph - I've not heard of Simone Weil, and I do have a cassette player.

    You recommended Thomas Merton some time ago. I read the Seven Storey Mountain a couple of months ago - which led me to St. Teresa of Avila. I've also been reading about Little Flower and Mother Teresa (the latter being a great example of a karma yogi).

  10. I found my Simone Weil talk (on tape), but I don't have any machine to duplicate it. I don't know if I have an extra one.

    If you would like to listen to it, I can bring it to the workshop this weekend. Then you could return it at the retreat. That will work for me.

    Ralph from Dekalb

  11. Ralph,
    Since I'm not too good with other people's property, it's probably better if you don't bring it. But thank you for the offer!

  12. Anonymous8:24 PM

    It's February in Chicago (brrrr) and there were elections on Tuesday- I'm surprised everyone has not fled the city and state.

  13. They ARE fleeing. No one's reporting on it, but people are leaving Illinois in droves, and soon they'll be fleeing the city as well. Wait and see. No one wants a luxury tax / bankrupt city.

    The election felt like a sham - like a scene straight out of Capricorn One.

    We had THUNDERSNOW again tonight.