"Thoughts about BKS"

One year has passed since B.K.S. Iyengar died.  The year slipped by quickly for me, as they all do at this stage of life. Actually, it has been twenty months since I last saw him at his 95th birthday celebration.  Yet even though his body has returned to the earth and sky, his presence remains, vital and persistent.  Of course, he lives on in his writings and videos; we can tune him in that way whenever we want.  But he is always here for us who were fortunate enough to have been his direct pupils. We are blessed to have Guruji’s teachings in our hearts and cells. 

I am most aware of him when I practice, often struggling to live up to his impossibly high standard. What would Guruji say, do, think, I wonder. Please don’t misunderstand what I’m saying. I do my own practice. That is what he taught us:  Have presence of mind.  Explore.  Question.  Don’t get stuck in what you already know; go to the Unknown.  So I try to use his words, his example as a springboard to help me propel my practice in new directions. Something similar happens when I teach, too.

Beyond that, he lives not only in my memory, but on another level altogether.  I dream of Mr. Iyengar, or rather he visits me in my dreams, not often, just every now and then.  He always has since I met him nearly thirty-five years ago.  I don’t mean in some spooky otherworldly way, visions and the like.  Just dream visits, like you might have with a dear friend or relative.  And it has always been a little surprising and very heartwarming to me how sweet and kind he is in these dreams. As we all know, Mr. I could be a little fierce at times. He doesn’t show me that side in the dreams. Instead, I see the soft, compassionate, benevolent man who was always there, just a little tucked away.

I suspect that’s the way it will continue to be until I, too, blow away in a breeze one day. I don’t think this relationship will fade with the passing years. I think it will stay vital and persistent. I’m grateful for that.

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