Introduction: Five Fingers One Hand

FIVE: The Teacher
Guruji teaches Hatha Yoga to all levels in a style that is unique to him. His students from around the world share remarkable stories of positive and profound change in their lives, having learned yoga from him. As one student so aptly puts it, “After spending time with Guruji, one will soon realize that there are teachers of yoga and then there is Guruji.”

Here are some extracts from a few of the many testimonials that were written about Guruji in support of his move to Australia:

“Guruji’s Hatha Yoga classes are a totally different experience – as I finish the lesson, I always feel free of cares, mentally calm and physically relaxed like in no other yoga class. Words are not enough to describe Guruji’s love and wisdom.” – T. Epstein, Israel

“Although I only recently started learning from Guruji, I immediately experienced enormous benefits from his teachings. I feel better, less stressed and everybody says I look better. There are many other mental and spiritual advantages I am experiencing.” – a student from Italy

“Guruji teaches from within, from realization. Every question I ask gets the answer. And the answers always make sense. Guruji experiences what others are trying to interpret.”- a student from the USA

“If you look at him, you see just a normal person. Kind, polite, intelligent, charismatic and also funny … But when you ask him specific and complicated questions about yoga, psychology, human behaviour, or spiritual matters, his answers are incredible. He always seems to know the right answer to help the student.” – M. Pierantoni, Italy

“Guruji is special as along with his tremendous love, he oozes humility, compassion, power and patience. I have honestly never met another like him.” – D. Blanch, UK

“Guruji’s greatness cannot be described with words. Upon meeting him we felt that his knowledge reached beyond the realms of our limited minds. It became quite clear that he, unlike ‘ordinary’ yoga teachers, knew something very special and was willing to share it if you were ready to listen. The benefits of knowing Guruji are truly endless. He has changed my life in every way, and on every level.” – J. Briscoe

This is the final part of the introduction to this blog and now we come to my own career as a teacher. I studied French and German and started song writing in my first job as a secondary school language teacher in 1992. During that first year I lived in a boarding house as an assistant house-parent, and the boarders and my pupils were the first to complain that my songs got stuck in their heads, and encouraged me to start recording. Since then I have written well over 100 songs and to date have recorded 46 of them.

But I digress. When we lived in Switzerland after marriage and until 2006, I taught English there (part-time since the children were born), and for a few years a part-time theology course enabled me to teach Religious Education / Health. This was something I really enjoyed.

During a gap year in England before we moved here I was offered a part-time job in my old school, in the English department. Teaching English as a first language is quite different to EFL (English as a foreign language). It was time-consuming to say the least because I had to study the texts and poetry in depth for myself before I could teach them to exam students. Then before we moved to Australia I did some supply teaching.

To bring you up to date: right now I am working two to three days a week as a CRT (Casual Relief Teacher) in the local secondary college. And whilst I was initially extremely reluctant to apply for this type of work again, which was the reason for speaking to Guruji about my misgivings last January, I have come to love my job. There is a friendly atmosphere in the school and emergency teachers are both supported and appreciated. I feel like a member of staff and know many of the students by name. There are no pay cheques during the holidays, but then I don’t have to write the semi-annual reports or attend staff meetings after school either. My children don’t have to go to ‘After-school Care’, and part-time teaching allows me to devote some time to writing and music. In short, what a blessing!

Occasionally when I have played a few of my songs to a class, it has worked wonders in keeping the noise down. I also get encouraging comments like, “Miss, you should be a singer!” and “Miss, you should be on ‘Australia’s Got Talent’!” Last month, I was asked to speak to some lovely Year 11 music students about song writing and recording.
A couple of months ago I felt that it would be useful to have a singing lesson, and shortly afterwards heard that new friend at the staff table was, in fact, a singing teacher. Within a week she gave me an “awesome” (as we say in Oz) lesson and the two cups of tea with chocolate biscuits were not bad either! And do you remember that charity gig in October? Well, that is for the school chaplaincy. It all just goes to show … how those five fingers are all linked by the One Hand.

And this brings me to introduce the last of the four themes. It will be: GOD & GURU
A few examples that might fit into this theme: Cosmic Energy, God, the Guru; the concept of surrender; stories about Spiritual Masters and stories about Guruji himself.