Intense Training Begins

My Yoga teacher training took place over a period of three years. I found a spiritual teacher with whom I did my most impressive inner work.  Tom was not someone I would not recommend to the weak-hearted or to more sensitive souls, but he was good for my process.

The Yoga teachers I had worked with previous to Tom had taught me a variety of Yoga postures and given me lovely guided meditations and when I started to include Yoga in my aerobics classes in the 80’s, that is what I shared with them – stretches and guided meditations.   It wasn’t until the day that Miriam, a woman of about forty-five came to me after class and in a whispering voice told me about the dream she had the previous night.  It was, she said, a vivid dream in which I had taken her by the hand to a some huge statue of a woman saint.  I had told her to sit down and then flicked her forehead.   She entered some immense space of bright lights and vibration and had awakened crying.  She did not know how to interpret her dream and wondered what I was doing with them in class, but, she went on to say that she felt like she should touch my feet.  This woman was a Christian and knew nothing of Yoga or Hinduism, at least in this lifetime and was uncomfortable with what she was sharing with me.   I wondered if Tyler, Texas was ready for a real Yoga class.

I never got the chance to see because after I mentioned all this to Mikael and told him my desire to start a Yoga class, he swiftly took another job and transitioned us to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the home of baseball,  beer and brats.  The first weekend there, we were invited to a G.E. Medical soiree and I met all the executive wives who cornered me with a warning that within one year I would either gain at least 50 lbs  or Mikael and I would divorce. “That is what happens, sorry,” they consoled, “its just the way it is here!”    The next week I found  Master Lee’s Tai Kwon Do.

I could find no Yoga classes in Milwaukee.  The Himalayan Institute did have an address and phone number in the yellow pages.  I called all hours of the day without success and drove to the address in an unpleasant part of town but couldn’t find the storefront.  I found to my surprise though, that I thoroughly enjoyed martial arts and developed a disciplined practice and attended early morning meditations with my Korean sensei.  Tai Kwon Do and Gigong breathing were filling the void, while saving my figure and marriage.  Richardo’s Flamenco classes also helped!

About three years later, I found another sensei in the Milwaukee area who agreed to help me develop and set up Women’s Self-defense classes.  The classes were a great success.  I was doing something for womankind and I really liked working with Roger.

Roger, an American sensei, forms another interesting side-note.  He was a wonderful teacher and had been a past champion martial artist and even acted in movies with Chuck Norris, although I can’t say I ever saw in him anything.  But he seemed to be , way more complex than just that. He was a very good artist working for Marvel comics.  His comic books were always about Macho-Superheroes with their adoring, gorgeous and voluptuous  females and for some reason, seemed only available in Japan.    Beyond that, the moment I saw Roger, I recognized him and even more surprising to me, he recognized me.   I don’t know who he was to me, but in his presence I had amazing otherworldly experiences.

For instance, a strange thing happened one day in class, either while holding a fellow student in a chokehold or being held.  I slipped into another place, in time and space. The dojo literally disappeared but  I was with the same blond boy in the same position.  The experience only lasted moments, but two other people, a young woman and a large black man from class were also there with us. It was like a parallel universe. I was in Delafield, Wisconsin but also in ancient Greece.  I heard Roger call my name and I was back again in the dojo.

Another time, when I was watching Sensei demonstrating techniques with a fellow student, I felt a black leopard leap from the center of my own being onto Sensei and merge.   And I felt I was that leopard.  Okay, so that sounds a bit like something Samantha Jones would say in ‘Sex and the City,’ but it is true and it was not a sensual experience.  I was totally unnerved; I lost my balance and collapsed to the floor.  Roger immediately jumped up to check on me and I wondered if he had felt it.  Still to this day I have no idea what these experiences were or meant, but there was something going on within me, in that particular dojo and with that group of gathered warriors.

Stick fighting with Roger was an adagio. Our movements seemed to be a slow motion dance.  He said he could teach me to use the stick to tap a single leaf from the branch of a tree outside the dojo.   I can say that I looked so forward to every practice and felt quite at home, even though I didn’t really did not get to know these people and was a poor practitioner of Shorin Ryu Karate.  I never discussed these things with Roger.  I assumed he knew.

The short time with Roger was undoubtedly the catalyst for the rest of my life to unfold the way it was supposed to.

One evening as I was leaving the dojo, Roger came up to me and said,  “You have what you want,  what you do with it is up to you.”

“What do I have?  I was not good at  chokeholds or spinning back-kicks.  What I do with what?”  He never answered.

A week later someone told me that he had divorced his wife.

Roger was mysterious and I was on dangerous ground.  I knew we had to move from Milwaukee!  I started to look for a new job for Mikael in Florida. At least we should move to a warm place near the ocean.  He was working 24/7 and I could easily get bored and Roger was the most intriguing person I had ever met.   And, perhaps his remark, concealed in double-entendre, simply meant that I  had these amazing experiences in order to  get on with my life’s work.   What I did now was up to me.   No matter how I interpret the remark, I knew my life was going to change.

When I told Roger that I was moving to Florida he said that it was good, that I didn’t belong in a small town in Wisconsin.

  1. No comments yet.

  1. No trackbacks yet.