A Testimonial by Jane Pryor, Argentina
Upāsana: Classic Yoga Meditation, was the Seminar taught by Kausthub Desikachar in mid-April in Buenos Aires, organised by Vanesa Sacca, a KHYF Teacher Trainer and Yoga Therapist.
The seminar took place during four days and it was the first time that Kausthub was in Buenos Aires since 2012. The assistants were a mix of KHYF teachers, teacher trainers, yoga therapists and practitioners, plus teachers and students of other traditions.
As usual, Kausthub divided the mornings and afternoons into lecture and discussion followed by a practice. The questions and discussions, which were frank and open, were used by Kausthub to illustrate and to help us reflect on the essence of Upāsana and the difficulties to achieve this particular form of meditation.
The discussions related to “how” vs “what”, to the practice vs the theory, to the habits of Occidental vs Oriental culture, to how we connect to our heart, how we express who we are and what we feel, how to overcome our egos. What came up time and again underlying most situations was fear versus openness, correctness versus sincerity, and the difficulty to truly connect to our essence, to our heart, to the Divine within us.
Having assisted to seminars and courses given by Kausthub since 2003 in Argentina and other countries, I have always considered him to be an inspired and knowledgeable teacher, with a good balance between Western and Indian approaches. This time however, there appeared to be a subtle difference in his teaching with respect to past years. He cares more about getting across the deeper meaning and purpose of the teaching, “how” more than “what”. The way he relates to the participants is more sincere than before, as if, in the terms of this seminar itself, his connection to the students and the teachings is closer to the heart.
Some of the more advanced participants may have wished for more theoretical teachings rather than discussions that arose from personal experiences and questions. Nonetheless, it is interesting that those same discussions emphasised the core of the seminar, and are what remain so present in one´s mind.
One always comes away wishing for more: more foundation on the ancient teachings and more practice in order to incorporate the experience. Yet in only three full days, we cannot expect much more than a little step more in this process of refinement of our patterns.
Thank you, Kausthub, for this step.