Monday, September 12, 2011

Swami Satchidananda's Lesson For Me

In or around 1975 i was living outside Gainesville, Florida. I had been studying yoga out of the book "Integral Hatha Yoga" by Swami Satchidananda. He was the funny little Swami who appeared at Woodstock and his book was full of pretty good pictures of the poses. I just imitated the pictures. Well, one day i heard Swami Satchidananda was coming to speak in Orlando which is maybe 150 miles south of Gainesville.

I had hitched back and forth across North America several times and figured this little jaunt would be easy. So, i started out in the morning with my shoulder bag, oranges, bread and my flute. Satchidananda wasn't speaking until 8 that night so i was just planning on having a pleasant day hitching.

Along about mid-afternoon i realized i had travelled only 30 miles or so and i had been sitting in one spot for hours. I began to thumb in ernest. Cars were whizzing by me like i was invisible. Around 5 i started to panic. Around 6 i started yelling at passing motorists in anger. I just couldn't believe people could be so cruel as to cause me to miss my guru, my teacher.

I finally made it to the talk around 8 or 9. Exhausted and emotionally drained i attempted to slip quietly into the lecture room. Just as i entered the Swami looked up directly at me, smiled with those twinkling eyes of his and said

"Make no appointments and you'll have no disappointments"! 
I couldn't believe it. It seemed like the entire day had been one long arduous lesson which Satchidananda was able to sum up in 8 words. That lesson really stuck with me and i've pretty much lived my life by it. It's usually stated more along the lines of having no expectations but i like the Swami's rhyme better. Thanks, man.

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