"Guruji "

A portrait of Sri K Pattabhi Jois through the eyes of his students

from the chapter by Dena Kingsberg.

"Perception is a window. This window has been marked with the passing of time. Impressions are left upon it by our conditioning. It is colored by life's experiences, our upbringing, relationships and culture. It is damaged by disappointment, trauma and loss, clouded by uncertainty and confusion. I see the practice as the process of cleaning the window. Each day we dip the sponge into the bucket and wipe it across the surface. After some time, the change is apparent. A clear opening arises where it was clouded before and this unclouded vision brings more light and clarity. It's enough to keep you dipping. Sometimes there are marks on the glass that are difficult to remove and sometimes there are areas in the practice that are difficult and it seems that we will never be able to pass beyond them.

Repetition is key. We go back to the same place over and over without expectation or judgment again and again in both practice and in the cleansing until eventually catharsis, either subtle or dramatic, occurs as some stubborn or trapped part of us breaks free. A grief, a fear, a trauma, a secret, a sadness. Once it settles, there is clarity a lightness, a freedom of movement or a breakthrough in the practice that was not there before. That illumination and transformation inspires faith in the wisdom of the method. Days, weeks, months, years pass, and slowly the mind settles and the window of perception shines clear."