Tell It To The Pigeons

I’m working from a state of mind that I don’t have.

I find that some people consider this to be daydreaming, or maybe delusional.

I think of it as one of my powers.

I teach yoga and my wife and I expect to relocate to a different yoga market. I’ve gone to the interwebs and done some research on this new market, and it looks like it could be tough.

On a good day I can bring what might generously be called a moderate level asana practice to a yoga class. I’m willing to go harder, but my body is a lot older than I am. And from what I hear, people admire and seek out physical accomplishment in a yoga teacher. So I don’t know how it’s going to go in the new market. I might not be very competitive.

Nevertheless, I hope to pick up a class here and there as an itinerant teacher. See how it goes.

Yogi Bhajan said that no one came to some of the best classes he ever taught.

That’s good enough for me.

I’ve told family and friends that if I have no students, I’ll put my mat down beneath a tree in a park somewhere and teach to the pigeons.

That’s the state of mind I’m working with. Straight out of the Gita. No selfish attachment to outcomes.  Admirable, don’t you think? I think so. Very yogic.


I’ve noticed that I am rather attached to how many students come to my present yoga classes. If a student drops in and doesn’t come back or if a regular stops coming, I start wondering what I did wrong. Maybe they don’t like me, I think.

It gets worse…

I do these blog posts. And I really mean for them to be a service. The intent is that they will spark some inquiry in the reader. I want people to look within their own practice and see what’s going on.  That’s why I started, and that’s my mission, but… I really want those views and Likes and comments. I check on it way too many times a day.

So that pigeon-teaching state of mind is not currently present.

What is my current state of mind? I don’t even want to get into it. You’ve heard it all before anyway.

This is getting dreary.

Let me note the obvious, then I’ll get out of here: I have a ways to go. There is a distance between where I am and where I can see I might be – never mind the great distance I can’t even see from where I stand.

But then Thich Nhat Hanh comes along and says something like, If you breathe in and are really aware that you are alive, you’re already a little bit enlightened. A little bit.

I think I can see a difference between cruisin along being alive and being really aware that I am alive.

Yogi Bhajan said, The greatest art is to sit, and wait, and let it come.

If I can sit and wait and let it come, then it must already be here.

Swami Kripalu said, Any action not motivated by selfish desire is considered inaction.

He goes on to say that this is inaction because when our actions are unselfish, divine love is acting through us and so the actions are not our own.

I still get to own my selfish acts.

And, still… I may already have entry-level enlightenment. You, too.

I’d like to have pigeon-teaching mind.

There are three saints telling me how to do it:

Teach from love and nothing else.
Love my students whether I have any or not.
Feel my breath moving, and stay mindful of the gift of life.
Be still, and know the grace within.

So where to begin? How about this:

I love you, and you don’t have to say it back.

Hit the Like button; don’t hit the Like button… It’s okay either way. Really. And I’m going to try to not check every ten minutes to see if you did.


8 responses to “Tell It To The Pigeons

  1. I way more than LIKE this, I LOVE it! I am not just saying that because you are my brother, or to barter for a like or uplifting comment on my next post. You are gifted and loving and loved.


  2. ooooooh, I’m really working on this these days– Teaching a great class no matter who (or how many) show up and then just moving on with my day without worrying if people liked it (me) or not… whether they’ll come back (or not). As you say, I’m working from a state of mind that I don’t yet have. Thanks for the great post and keep teaching. I taught a class for 6 months with only 2 people showing up half the time.


  3. We come…we go…

    We fall in love…we fall out of love…

    We breathe in…we breathe out…

    We eat…we’re full…and then we’re hungry again…

    We sleep…we walk upright for a bit…then we rest again…

    We’re born…we live…we die…

    We ebb and flow with spirit. We move with the breeze. The sun warms our bones and the moon cools us down. Through it all, the only constant, the only stable thing is our inner being. Our inner glow that shines ever so brightly. Call it love, call it spirit, call it stardust, call it essence; name it what you will. We all have it.

    Sometimes we glow so brightly it repels, incites fear from others…how can they bear to be around such beauty and love emanating from one person. Sometimes we glow so warmly that we invite others to be close…how can they bear NOT to be in our orbit. Sometimes that glow shows others their true selves, and that can be scary for some, especially if they were only looking for a hug and wow, they SAW themselves. When that happens, sometimes they need to go away for just a bit, to process what they saw. And sometimes, we simply sit and bask in our own glow…under our own tree with our blanket and our pigeons and our peace.

    I think…all we can do is glow. Keep that glow going and know that people will come when they have a need for our glow, and they will fly away when they’ve outgrown that need. But for you David, as long as you glow, people will find you and orbit around you, for you have the most gentle, most soulful way of saying “it’s ok…it will all be ok”…and ya know what? It’s always ok…


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