Anybody a procrastinator?
There was no room for procrastination behind the scenes of Ayurveda study with my teacher Maya Tiwari.
Maya was always very fond of acronyms. They made her giggle in her unique, slightly devilish way. We all loved that giggle.
When I studied Ayurveda in the mid 90’s, there was no such thing as online classes. It’s almost hard to fathom now as we are diving deeply into online study these days…partly for convenience and mostly for necessity. The pandemic has brought even the most electronic-resistant students online. We all crave connection and growth.
But in the 90’s we travelled far and wide to see our teachers and receive teachings in person. It was a big event. We had to leave the comfort of home after making sure all the bases were covered. That meant babysitters, substitutes for teaching, vacation days and long travel. There were no cell phones, so we were separated from our loved ones for longer periods of time. It meant prioritizing (or sometimes borrowing) a chunk of hard-earned money. Studying was an immersion, pilgrimage and priority.
In the case of studying Wise Earth Ayurveda, we never simply “attended” a course. It was a community effort. There was a lot work behind the scenes. It was literally like putting on a production. These courses were never intended to be a one-person job. We all pitched in to make it happen. That created community, perhaps the biggest and most important teaching of all.
Learning was always made pleasurable by the beauty of the environment. Raw wood tables, lovely cotton cloths, vases of handpicked flowers, pottery passed down generation to generation, warm ghee lamps, incense and pictures of holy saints created an unforgettable experience that opened out hearts. Fresh air and sunlight streaming in the windows filled the room (and us) with new energy. We became receptive and teachable. We softened.
Upon arrival at the school we received assignments. We each had our jobs that helped prepare the space while helping us transition from our typical life to a deeper, earth-based awareness. So sweet. Together we created an experience.
Just like in the theater, there’s a timeline. We had to be sure all was set up and properly outfitted for the teachings to occur. Many teachings included food preparation and homespun personal care, so there were supplies and tools of the trade that had to be placed “just so” to make our teacher’s presentation physically easy. This supported her fluid transmission of knowledge. We always felt like we were getting the deepest secrets of healing- and we were. Eye to eye.
Maya would come in and scan the room before she began her class. She would know in one long scan if the slightest thing or two were missing.
That’s when it came…. “
“Go get this … move that over there …. I.R.I.S!” At that time is was Maya’s favorite acronym.
I.R.I.S. means: Immediately. Right Away. Instantly. Speedily
Phew. We jumped to the occasion. No fooli
ng around when we were given an I.R.I.S. command. It meant get it done. Period.