civetta

“We were together. I forget the rest.”

My Teacher (In Which You Get To Know Me A Lot Better)

When I was 18, after visiting my aunt and uncle, I decided to make their home my home, and to put off college for a year. Their home was, and is, Mount Madonna Center, outside of Santa Cruz, which is a yoga center, and essentially an ashram. The teacher that resides there is named Baba Hari Dass.  He is a silent monk who is classically trained in Ashtanga Yoga, and communicates by writing on a small chalkboard. He wears white robes, tennis shoes and has intense, coal-black eyes that look right into your soul. He definitely looked right into mine. At first, I wasn’t sure how I felt about him, and this whole guru-teacher-silent deal. I kept my distance. But that faded quickly, and soon I became, like many people, his little shadow.  Because he loves me, he let me, with a bemused affection that I often took for detachment or even disinterest, if I was having a bad day.

 

baba 1

 

 

About twenty years ago, Babaji founded an orphanage in Northern India, and at the time I was living at Mount Madonna, a big group would go over every year for three months. Babaji went, so that meant I went. That of course began my love affair with India, with children, and with teaching. I returned again a few years later.

 

erin

 

 

In the years since, I have written Babaji letters, and he writes back. It has always been my intention to return, to see him again, and most recently, have him meet John. But as is often the case with intentions, it has not actually happened. About a week ago, I got word from a friend that he seemed to be in the process of leaving his body.  The grief that took hold was deep and strange. Not like any other I have felt.  It changed every minute, and continues to. Today, I am thrilled to report, the word on his progress is that he is actually doing better and has begun physical therapy!

But his teachings, like the teachings of so many other Great Beings, in the lesson of impermanence, and the illusion that we are our body. I know that, but I don’t KNOW it. That, of course, is the process, the path. I am overcome with tears when I really let it sink in that I have had the immense blessing of having him in my life, as my Teacher, my friend, and my Father.

So with this post, you know me quite a bit better, and have an explanation about what I alluded to last week. I SO appreciate you reading this post, this blog, and  being my teachers and friends :)

 

 

“Don’t think that you are carrying the whole world; make it easy, make it play, make it a prayer.”
– Baba Hari Dass

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7 comments on “My Teacher (In Which You Get To Know Me A Lot Better)

  1. J.
    October 24, 2013

    I love the light that Babaji shines in you… and that now shines in me too.:)

    • jessica clare
      October 24, 2013

      You’re my light J. xoxoxo

  2. judy ireland
    October 24, 2013

    Simply silent gratitude. Love you and love him.

  3. nadya
    October 24, 2013

    This is beautiful—miraculous, even.

  4. bonzochoochmushyandme
    October 24, 2013

    love this.
    what an amazing experience to have had — and continue to have.

    impermanence. it’s so simple but so massive. so easy, so hard. i hear you.

    i’m glad he’s doing well. i loved the pins you pinned last week — with his spirit in mind, i presume.

    xx

  5. elissa
    October 24, 2013

    beautiful! thinking of you, friend.

  6. Carrie
    October 26, 2013

    So glad he’s doing better — and what a fantastic experience and presence you’ve been gifted.

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This entry was posted on October 24, 2013 by .

Jessica Clare

Preschool teacher, writer, trouble maker.

LIVES: Seattle. By way of Santa Fe, San Francisco, and NYC.
LOVES: John
DAYDREAMS:Strong coffee. Gourmet magazine. Stinky cheese. Date night with new strappy heels. Green chile. Going back to India. Unabashed displays of love. Vegetable gardens. Clean sheets. Unruly stacks of books. Breaking Bad marathons. Writing like Joan Didion ,Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and Joseph Stroud. Cookbooks. French 75s. Sequins with jeans. Leaving love notes.
BELIEVES: “A human being is part of the whole, called by us ‘Universe,’ a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest – a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but the striving for such achievement is in itself a part of the liberation, and a foundation for inner security.” Albert Einstein “The important thing is not to think much but to love much and so do that which best stirs you to love.” St. Teresa of Avila “People say that what we’re all seeking is a meaning for life. I don’t think that’s what we’re really seeking. I think that what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonances without own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive.” Joseph Campbell

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