Hola from Tulum, Mexico. Just coming to the end of day three of the week-long course I am teaching here. I have a wonderful group of students from all over that I am subjecting to seven hours of class time per day, attempting to teach them as much about the Primary Series, the Yoga Sutras, basic anatomy, pranayama, and Indian Mythology as I can in a week, with a bit of Vedic astrology and kirtan thrown in just for fun. They are remarkably enthusiastic and energetic, soaking up everything like sponges. It makes for a pretty full day with seven hours of teaching, maybe an hour of practice, some time in the ocean, a few chapters of Jo Nesbo’s The Leopard, a short nap, and some family time. We have a lovely palapa right on the ocean with a thatched palm frond roof that was tested last night by some brief but heavy rainfall. I awoke at 2;30am to water dripping from the ceiling onto to my bed, right next to my face. Fortunately I was able to move to a comfortable couch in a drier locale for the remainder of the night. Such minor inconveniences as leaks, crabs and geckos in your room or an occasional iguana in the yoga shala are a small price to pay for the pleasure of living so close to nature. All things considered, it is a very pleasant working environment. It’s great to see people working hard and learning new things, but at the same time, bonding well as a group, relaxing, and having a good time. There are no televisions or newspapers here so I am blissfully ignorant of the goings on in the outside world. Occasionally I catch a bit of news from the outside world—the most stunning news being that the Lakers have won a couple of games in my absence.
The big news in the astrological world is that the planetary giant, Jupiter turns direct tomorrow after traveling in retrograde motion for the last four and a half months. Jupiter represents Spirit embracing Matter to provide us with nourishment, expansion, and spiritual transformation. In the Vedas Jupiter is called Brihaspati, who is the guru of the devas (the gods). He is primarily thought of as a teacher who is very sympathetic and benefic to humankind, and guides us on the path of Dharma, while providing the necessary conditions and affluence to provide for our fulfillment and contentment. Jupiter rewards us for our good karma with opportunities and success for both our physical well being and our spiritual growth.
I’ll be flying home on Saturday, which, of course, is Groundhog Day. Every Groundhog Day you can be sure that the movie of the same name will be showing on television at some time during the day. On one level this film is an amusing comedy with a nice performance by Bill Murray, but on another level it is a profound meditation on the subject of Samsara (the cycle of repetitive experience) , and a brilliant teaching of how one can extricate oneself from the prison of conditioned existence and achieve enlightenment. I plan to watch it again.