When I schedule Radiant Child Yoga teacher training in a city, it’s done at least eight months in advance. Now, I may have developed intuitive powers from many years of spiritual practice, but my internal crystal ball did not tell me that the set date for the New York City course at Karma Kids Yoga –August 26-28 — would converge with the arrival of Hurricane Irene on the doorstep of New York City.
When things happen, I always take the perspective that there is a Gift somewhere. Well, the gift in this training became obvious in the first 15 minutes. The first people arrived and none of them were from NYC– they hailed from Toronto, Boulder, Italy, Philadelphia. They had all came to NYC from non-hurricane places because they were dedicated to learning children’s yoga. One of them even suggested–and not all in jest–that we just hunker down and spend the night so we could finish the course.
We finished the first day, Friday, amidst much talk about the weather. By Friday evening the news reported that the hurricane would arrive Saturday. The subway and trains were closing Saturday afternoon. Many areas of the city were declared mandatory evacuation zones.
We decided to end Saturday at noon with a credit given to complete the course at a future date. Our Saturday morning began with Kundalini Yoga practice. We had just finished the yoga and were ready to meditate, when Shari, my dear friend and the visionary owner of Karma Kids Yoga (www.karmakidsyoga.com), came into the center to nail boards up on the window in preparation for the possibility of strong winds.
As Shari necessarily needed to get those windows prepped, we just made it part of the meditation. I said, “So normally, you want to have a quiet space to meditate in, but what if you don’t have that situation? This is a great opportunity to learn how to allow the moment to be as it is and still find your meditative space.”
So from there, I guided them into Present Moment Awareness from the CD that is part of their take-home materials. The students went into a deep space of awareness…..
“Allow all things in the event of this moment. Notice it all as sensation, without judgment, resistance or following thought wherever it may lead.” I said as we meditated amidst the sound of hammer and strong wind. “You may feel a response to the sounds– a sensation rising within the body. If you allow that sensation as part of the expression of this moment, without following thoughts wherever they may lead (like thinking, “This is loud!”), nor pushing the sensation away (like thinking, “Let me try to push that sound away and get back to my meditation.”), if you can stay with the flow, then you will receive the gift of being stable in a space of awareness no matter what the circumstances around you may be.”
What a gift that meditation was, as was the whole weekend! Learning how to stay calm amidst the storm that we may face at any moment in time—what could be better to be able to learn for our own benefit, and for our children to glean from us?