Notice – Tantric Master Jenny Duck to Cover My Yoga Classes

Jenny Duck
Jenny Duck, Palmengarten Frankfurt, is self-taught Tantric guru.

Last week my boyfriend and I were sunbathing on the designated sunbathing lawn of Frankfurt’s Palmengarten. While he reads the second newspaper of the day and fourteen newspaper of the week, my iPod plays back a lecture from one of my favorite yoga guru’s on the Tantric Shiva-Shakti philosophy.

The teacher explains:

Shiva is unchanging awareness.
Shakti is cosmic energy.

Shiva is immovable, eternal, imperishable, the substrate behind it all.
Shakti is the moving, creative force behind all manifestations.

At the zenith of the lecture, the teacher raises his voice and insists:

You exist. You are Shiva.
You create. You are Shakti.

My eyes glance to the pictures in the newspaper to find the most handsome national soccer players. As my attention shifts to the summer heat, the voice of the guru drifts to into the distance. I roll onto my back to let the sun hit my eyes.

A grimace of irritation extends across my face as I ask myself – do I get this shit?

Do I get what the guru means – that enlightenment can be found in the Tantric tenets “I exist” and “I create” ?

Sitting up slightly dazed from the overload of UV rays to my now tightly closed corneas, I see Jenny Duck waddle by. We had last seen Jenny Duck with a large brood of handsome ducklings. And here she stood, as beautiful as ever, but alone.

Sadness hits us. The late night nibbles of Red, the lanky city fox, decimated yet another fowl family.

Before moving onto the Finance section of the paper, my partner uttered rhetorically, what does she think when she loses all her ducklings?

I replied to his already distracted ears:

Jenny doesn’t think. Jenny exists. Jenny creates.

I turned off the podcast and knew. Jenny is my guru. Jenny taught me in a second, what hundreds of hours of yoga classes did not.

  • “I exist” means: I am alive. I am free. I am complete. No loss will stop me from continuing to exist, from doing what I am meant to do, from standing in the pure awareness of this very moment.
  • “I create” means: I accept the cycles of the material – birth, existence and death. Loss means moving into a new cycle of creativity. I cannot not create.

While we listen to the “Power of Now” for the 100th time to get over our lost dreams, Jenny will have swam, sun bathed, built nests, mated and hatched new ducklings. She is the Power of Now, the unity of Shiva and Shakti.

Jenny has agreed to cover my yoga classes. Please go to the park to meet a real guru.

Location – Palmengarten, Frankfurt.

 

From Rant to Redemption: How the Yogini on the Beach Saved Me.

A few weeks ago I posted “Half-naked, Vegan Yogini on the Beach Saves Rabbits in China

This post was a rant based on a homework assignment from an online writing coach. The writing prompts read:

“What upsets you? What do you find frustrating? What really ticks you off?”

From the safety of my sofa, I took a stab at social media. My Facebook newsfeed was an easy target. It could not defend itself. With a controversial, even racy title, my WordPress stats went up. A few friends joined my rant.

But after, something didn’t sit quite right.

InspirationIf I am upset, frustrated or even ticked off at my Facebook newsfeed, then why am I even looking at it? Behind my seemingly masochistic social media addiction, I found three longings:

1. Inspiration – A healthy personality finds inspiration in individuals who demonstrate skill. However in yoga there is a continuous debate concerning photography and videos of teachers in “advanced” poses. Do yoga teachers in challenging arm balances or deep back bends inspire yoga students? Or, are potential students discouraged from joining a class?

Hold that thought – now ask yourself:

  • Do pictures of Ronaldo discourage adult, chubby men from playing soccer on the weekends?
  • Does the latest Oscar winning performance of Matthew McConaughey prevent a child from joining the school theater?

If you answered no, then why should the wispy yogini dropping into a back bend on the beach stop me from doing yoga?

Let’s get a bit of confidence yoga peeps! What if we all refused to watch the Olympics saying that they are all just show offs? Why do we innerly reject individuals who are mastering poses that we are secretly working towards?

2. Community – a few years ago a friend said to me, “Look how many people on Facebook post pictures where they look like movie stars. Who do they think they are?” Now that is a trick question. Should we think we are less than a movie star? Is looking glam and cool reserved for the appointed few?

If I am FRIENDS with someone on Facebook, do I sneer at her beautiful picture, asking why she didn’t post something less attractive?

When I post a picture of me, I get the most likes. That is community – someone out there, perhaps someone who misses me, who likes me, whom I haven’t seen in 20 years, is happy to see a picture of me. The friend who thinks I should have put an uglier picture of me can unfriend me right now please.

3. Change – I have a hard time when I see all the seemingly senseless violence in the world. Yet unfortunately a “can-do” approach seems to go as far as we can spit up against government and corporate corruption and mass violence against man, beast and the Mother Earth. From this place of powerlessness, my online yoga community cries with me, reflecting back that I am not alone, that others also want change.

One face of yoga teaching encourages us to enter a state of inner listening, to step back from action and allow. But another face of yoga offers us to learn from the world around us through inspiration and community.

This week, I inspired my students to do a handstand. With a sense of community, they encouraged each others success. They walked out more confident.

If we allow inspiration and community to mix, we may find the change in the world we are looking for.

Advice for Managing Energetic Farts

The conversation ends. But something still stinks.

We know it well.

Politely, we smile and nod, but our inner voice grimaces – what smells?

I am talking about energetic farts. Ethereal stinkers. I mean the invisible yet uncontrollable toxic wind of chronically negative people.

In most circles, at least where I am from, public flatulence is not really welcome.

What_smellsSure, we all have an embarrassing slip now and again. There are moments when that take-out had too much MSG or some school-aged child infects us with the stomach flu.

But generally, we make an effort to avoid sharing the backlash of poorly digested food with others.

The chronic sharing of poorly digested daily life experiences however does not seem to share the same taboo status.

My advice for managing energetics farts.

1. Check with a friend.

First ascertain your own guilt. When we chronically stink, we don’t smell it anymore. We may be stuck in a lethal cloud of gas and not know it. Stuck in the stench, we do not attract people and circumstances that are rosy.

We all have a few true friends, the ones who have stuck with us since high school and are not in the quagmire of our day-to-day life.

From a place of sincerity, ask for the truth and nothing but the truth.

2. Improve your digestion.

  • Why do I have the need to share my inability to digest my experiences with everyone and their brother?
  • What choices can I make to stop the bitching, the complaining, the snide remarks?
  • Can my silence smell of lilacs as opposed eau de garbage truck?
  • Can I recognize that my partner, my friends, family and co-workers are not the rest room?

These are the tough questions we must ask ourselves if we seek sustainable, personal growth. When I jumped on the yoga bandwagon, I began to read self-reflective books that prompted me to ask myself these questions.

Like any chronic condition, my emotional digestion did not improve overnight. I first needed to recognize what was causing the toxic clouds of negative emotions I emitted and change my behavior. When I survey my closest old friends, they confirm that self-help books are working. I am out of the sulfur pit.

3. Practice vigilance.

Even after digestion improves, we still have those moments where we lose control. Recently at the office, I felt insulted by one of the managers. I spoke to his team assistant Maria and told her the whole story. I heard her smile through the phone, even nod. I think I also heard the rattle of the perfumed aerosol can.

I don’t believe we can save the whole world, but at least on that day I could have made Maria’s world a bit less stinky. Life always offers us choices. I could have kept my comments to myself, wrote them in my journal, or even called the manager and politely discussed the situation.

4. In the event of a bad meal, stay home!

Just like that bad meal at the family diner, some days go wrong, completely wrong. In such times maybe it best to process very indigestible moments in privacy. Go home. Close the door and don’t talk to anyone until the cloud passes.

5. Stay clear of global gunk.

As we clean up our own cloud, we start to notice all kinds of stenches that we never noticed before. We realize that the world can sometimes be one big fart!

I can no longer inhale the poisonous narrative of mass media, the news and programs showing unnecessary violence, drama and sadness. I cannot talk about Homeland, the latest military conflict or even the “Top Model” shows. But luckily my friends cannot either.

6. What to do if trapped.

I have been thinking a lot about whether I am a spiritual wimp or a spiritual warrior. When I smile and nod at the energetic farters, I affirm that I am the rest room they run to when the gas is ready to blow.

While my inner warrior loaded with perfume guns is still in boot camp, my spiritual wimp employs the following strategies:

  • Divert – I act like I am getting a call or have to go to a meeting
  • Revert – if diverting fails, I recite in my mind: I am rubber and you are glue, what you say bounces off me and sticks to you.

I swear. I double dare you to try. It works just as much as it did when we were eight. When we thought farting was funny.