In my teacher trainings we don't just cover the fundamentals of teaching, we uncover the FUNdaMENTALs of how to teach from a place of authenticity. We dig down in the mud where it's not always pleasant; all seeds need darkness to sprout. You can't teach what you don't know intimately, but one human has the capacity to shine a light on all humans if they know what truth is. The Hindu deities shine truth on the parts of us that make up the whole of us.
Many yoga practitioners are intimidated with the deities of the Hindu philosophy, only because they don't know the practical functions of these deities in their own practice. The "practice" is Life, after all, and the deities are all the parts that make up the abSOULute. If you know that which the deities are pointing at, you will come to know yourSelf as well. This also works the other way around-- if you could know yourself as a deity, the myth or story of you would shine a light on our entire world. So try this project with me, and find your way in.
This is a project I use for my students at the end of my first module (The Climb) in teacher training.
Write a myth and make your own Self into a Deity for all mankind
In 5 pages or less, can you uncover what your omniscient Self wants You to know from your life story?
Before you begin, here are some helpful tools to make it easier for you to write your own story, your own myth, and an example story of me using myself as a god.
1. The Shadows
Remember, the Hindus aren't afraid of the dark or shadowed aspects of living that we can sometimes become. So feel free to be free to let your story make us squirm if it calls for it. Even a seed must go into the darkness to sprout.
2. Be Creative
You have all of the Hindu deities at your disposal. You can be enchanted by Kali or take up a challenge with Agni or Krishna might show you what lies deep within his mouth. Maybe they will introduce themselves to us in your story. So be creative. A Creation means an expulsion from (God) where it came from. In order to be a creation, we must leave the safe confinement of being connected to the Whole and as an individual expression it is for us to find our way back to love. So good luck... Just Be. Y.O.U. (God is a 3 letter word)
3. An Example Myth to Get You Started
The Deity Troy (example story)
The God of Amnesia
Once upon a time, born into the world of Man was a man with a suave tongue. His name was Troy. Great sages foretold that Troy's tongue would be a medicine for an important child of the world; instead, the instant when Troy discovered he had this talented tongue, he put his talent only into making himself a lot of money. He aspired to nothing more than being a success.
Troy used his storytelling to put minds at ease, lullabying them when they were not able to stop being possessed with thinking; his specialty was putting the insomniacs to sleep. After only a year of being in business, Troy had already become very wealthy.
Only Life is never obvious, and always seems to provide a tongue tying for even the suave. And so in this case this was also so. Troy thought of himself as a success. But Troy was a failure who didn’t know.
Troy continued to grow in wealth; but it was never enough. He was now selling out arenas simply by telling stories. The stories he told were generating massive gatherings everywhere he went. People who yearned for peace from their minds purchased all of his recordings and merchandise.
His way of articulating had generated a tv show, "Troy Talks," moving minds and hearts into the majesty of living. The world was beginning to know of him. In love with his rhythms, his cadence, his set-ups, his listeners remained always in deep anticipation of his guiding the listener to the highest of peaks.
These days, Troy was no longer concerned about putting insomniacs to sleep. He just liked telling stories and hearing his own voice as he never knew where his stories would go until he had finished them. As his wallet grew, so did his sense of Self.
One day in his new 68th floor high-rise office, a lady approached his new temp, Joji, in tears with a heartfelt story and a request for help. Troy asked Joji if the lady had offered any money in return for his help. Joji said no, and Troy asked her why she was wasting his time. "Do you know who I Am?" he added.
Joji, who had listened to the plight of the lady, told Troy that she would pay her own month’s salary to him if he would but listen to the lady’s request. That was enough for Troy and the next morning the lady arrived in Troy’s new-styled office.
"My boy," she said, "has a tummy that every day continues to expand and grow. He has seen doctors from all over the world and no one can help him. They do not know what disease he has only that his tummy continues to grow. All I am asking for is that you give him relief for just one night and put him to sleep. The pain grows as his tummy grows. I just want my son to have one night of rest. Will you do this for me?" Unabashedly Troy replied without even feeling this mother’s plight, ‘Do you know who I am? I can make any child sleep."
So the next day Troy approached the little boy with the gigantic tummy, and it was marvelously gigantic. The poor boy’s face was weary with exhaustion and his energy was dangerously low. Lying in a hospital bed, groaning, the boy had endured. To watch someone innocent endure through sickness is the worst kind of enduring.
When the boy showed no response to Troy entering the room, Troy started in on the boy. "Do you know who I am?" The boy did not reply; for a moment he forced his eyes wide to see who was in his presence. Then the boy closed his eyes. An innocent, quiet voice followed from his tiny mouth. "You do not know who you are."
Troy, startled by the accusation and tone, searched for his tongue’s response, but instead found for once he had no words. He had nothing at all to say. The boy clutched his tummy, hurting, and moaned. He paid no attention to the visitor, but instead yearned only for a moment where the present moment would cease to hurt.
"What did you say to me, little boy?"
The boy said nothing.
Troy carried on, "I know who I am--I am Troy!" The boy turned away from Troy, onto his side. Troy continued speaking to the back of his little head "I am TROY!!, I said."
So Troy tried a new tactic. He began to tell the little boy a story. To get his attention. He told him of a word, a word that could only be spoken when one knew what the word meant or it would call on you forever and drive you crazy. A word that once spoken would cure all ailments-- a four-letter word, which was the key to knowing who we all are.
The boy’s head slowly moved to face Troy. He looked at Troy, and Troy felt his heart race. He would show this boy who he was. He would get this boy to speak. He would. As if reading Troy’s insane thinking, the boy turned away from him again.
So Troy continued on with his story. He spoke to how the word must be found from deep within; it must not live inside the belly of the one who spoke it. It must be released outward or it would burn inward and destroy. However, to release it the word must be known truly-- to pretend to know this word would cause one to feel all the world’s pain. The living truth of what lived within the animation of all living resided in this one word. The boy fluttered his eyes open, his soul temporally returned. Smiling and curious, he spoke "What is...this word?"
Troy smiled too as he sensed his victory over the child’s will. He wanted to see the look of the little boy’s need as he would ask him again if now he knew who Troy was in order to have the child validate his sense of self. Deep into the boy’s eyes Troy went. Somehow too far in. All he could see now in the boy’s seemingly galactic eyes was his own crippled reflection as if for the first time. Now he felt his own tummy groaning just as the boy’s tummy once was. Troy’s face squinted in anguish. The boy smiled. Troy fell to his knees remaining deadlocked with no escape from the boy’s pupils. Were those pupils?
The boy said to him, "I know the word. Do you?"
Troy’s tummy started to grow outward...rumbling...expanding...as the boy’s tummy became flatter and flatter.
"Please—" Innocently...Troy begged...
"Do you know the word?" asked the boy.
" I...do…" replied Troy.
"Then what is it?"
As if giving birth, Troy pushed the words out "The word...is...love."
The boy fluidly slid down from the hospital bed, his tummy natural again. He crouched down into the eyes of Troy who was now in fetal position.
"Do you know who I am?" the boy asked.
"Yes... you are lord Krishna."
"Yes, yes. I Am. And you are… too."
Time ceased as Troy ceased to know himself as who he once claimed to be.
He found himself alone…solitary…with the Universe as his only friend.
The end of the Beginning.