Yoga Teacher: A Poem from 'Savor Eternity'

“A baby is a yoga teacher.” ~Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

A baby is a yoga teacher.
A flower is a yoga teacher,
the morning glory, here and gone.

A raindrop is a yoga teacher.
A teardrop, the ocean and moon.

Why? Because
they achieve loveliness
through aloneness, eternity
through impermanence.

Time is a yoga teacher if
you watch it because
it is not really here.
Between rocks in a mountain stream,
the flash of a vanishing trout.

Or the electricity of a cat doing nothing.
Or the current in a wire birds love
to perch on that would kill you.

Anger is a yoga teacher
if you gently stay with it
in your belly and watch
the alchemy of bullet lead
dissolving into sorrow,
the mercury of tears
into peace.

Your mother's death is a yoga teacher.
When she is gone, she is
the soil itself and whatever
is green.

Now listen to the most
distant sound you can hear.
That is your yoga teacher
bearing you into silence
with a graceful gesture,
the posture of annihilation.

One breath is the price you pay
to enter his ashram.
It costs more than you could ever keep.

Give everything away
to your yoga teacher
who stands in the doorway
of the next inhalation.

His classroom is the stillness
between heartbeats.
Formlessness his perfect asana.

A sip of fresh water is your yoga teacher,
a mouthful of bread
melting into a smile for no reason,
gratitude for dust,
a groundless falling through your chest
into the radiant emptiness
at the center of all
these swirling stars.