Preparing For My Jivamukti Test Class
I have been apprenticing at Jivamukti for the past 9 months with my beloved teacher Rima. I can honestly say that I have watched myself become a better teacher, under her guidance. I have seen my sense of Self expand and the limitations I thought were holding me back, melt away. On Friday, at 1pm I have my test class and I am getting so excited! In line with the focus of the month, The Guru as Mirror, I have written a dharma talk (spiritual teaching that Jiva teachers give at the beginning of every class) that I wanted to share.
The Guru is a mirror for us, reflecting back to us our True Self and our true potential, without the judgement and criticism we often filter seeing ourselves with.
Our natural state is bliss… perfect, joyous, and happy but we often cloud this with feelings of inadequacy, or anxiety, depression, anger, fear… all of those heavy, dark emotions that seem to settle upon us and make the Self feel small. The Guru never sees any of that, and they reflect back to us our True Self, devoid of all of those layers. And in doing so, they teach us how to see ourselves that way.
I have been thinking about my teacher, what she has removed from my point of view and what she has allowed me to see in myself and I can truly say that this is how yoga shifts your perception and can completely transform how you see yourself and the world. My teacher has removed the illusion of who I thought I was and all of the limitations I felt and allowed me to tap into that blissfulness and infinite possibility that is within.
This is my test class, the culmination of 9 months of study with my teacher, and its an honor to sit in this seat, the seat of a Jivamukti teacher, before all of you. I first came to Jivamukti when I moved to NY 4 yrs ago and I really didn’t like it at all. I had been used to practicing in LA, where it’s really all about getting abs and I was very resistant to all the teachings and the spirituality that is inherent to this practice. I had a very limited view of what a yoga class should be and I felt overwhelmed by the dharma talk and all of the teachings. But something about this place was intriguing and I kept coming back.
I found Rima shortly after and started taking her class a lot. And 3 years ago, with her encouragement, I did my first teacher training. Already, although I hadn’t even realized it at the time, it was her believing in me and seeing a teacher within me, that gave me the courage to do it.
Of course, though I wanted to do Jiva’s TT bc I love it here and this place had shifted my perception and expanded who I thought I was in the first place, so again, with Rima reflecting back at me this image of myself as a Teacher, I went to TT last year, knowing that I would apprentice with her upon my return.
And now we are here, today, at my Test class, before my teachers and fellow students and I can see that image of myself as a teacher that my teacher saw all along. My sense of Self is expanded, my perception has shifted, and those limitations and insecurities that I used to cling to, have at least for now, slipped away.
And like this, if you can find someone who loves you as a student and who you can love as a teacher, your sense of Self expands so that you can see yourself the way they see you, as a perfect, Holy being, capable of anything.