A NOTE FROM LISA, TEACHING YOGA IN SUR BAHER
Posted on July 23rd, 2009
I want to express my feelings of frustration at the situation here. Yesterday there was the attack in Jerusalem of the Palestinian tractor driver who overturned buses, smashed cars and ran over people in a
Crazed rampage. This Palestinian tractor driver was from Sur Baher-the East Jerusalem village that I have been entering twice a week to teach Yoga to the women.
I have not yet contacted the women I teach yet. I am still searching within me how to approach the situation, knowing that the attacker yesterday could be the husband, son or brother of one of them. I will find a way to do it, though, because I have committed myself to teaching yoga there at least for the next two months, and, I am building trust with women there.
The event of yesterday brought up a lot for me. Mostly, a great sadness, at how deep the anger and hatred is. That whatever caused him to do it yesterday, is connected to this great pain-body of hatred, anger, fear and separation between the two people. Them and us.
And just as this happened, I went to Sur Baher and hitched a ride from where I get off the bus in Ramat Rahel, to the place where I teach in Sur Baher. The Arab man asked me if I was afraid to go into Sur Baher,
And I told him “NO”, because I go in peace and trust that I am protected.
Now, after yesterday’s event, I need to check within myself how far my “conscious naiveté” goes, ad where does it border with stupidity? Am I supposed to be feeling fear at going in there? Still, there is something in me that refuses to give up.
So I won’t hitch rides any more, on that 25 minute walk from Ramat Rachel into the village of Sur Baher.
I will take a taxi to keep a lower profile, as I am a women walking alone on the road and its obvious am not “one of them.” I am not clad in robes and head coverings. Maybe there is some hope that some kind of financial support will come through for me because If I need to take a taxi there and back,, it will be almost as if I am paying to go and teach there ( this is the amount I am paid for the lesson and is symbolic.)
I know that for me, it is my peace work to do this, and I can accept that for them it is the Yoga, because the Yoga itself is good enough-without people needing to “preach” peace. I know not to bring in politics into this situation, and to really stay and teach the Yoga, and to be the peace and love that I want.
And I know that even if it is drops in the ocean, from the hugs I received from some of the women this week, I felt strong open-hearted love.
Also in Jabel Mukaber, this week, the women whose place I have been teaching in is going overseas, and I invited the women who wanted to continue to come to Abu Tur. I asked if anyone would object if I invited Jewish women to the class, and there was objection. So I let it go immediately, because it is obviously too early to bring this in. Firstly, I have to strengthen the love to yoga, and then build trust and friendship with them and me.
When I read in your letter the declarations of Heart of Yoga Peace Project, I had my own inner peace-work to do at not losing hope and trust that my work will be recognized.
Thank You for what you are doing for us,
A NOTE FROM ERNESSA, TEACHING YOGA IN TEL AVIV
Posted on July 23, 2009
Yoga has permeated so many hearts and minds, beyond the physical and mental borders.
Jerusalem is a place where yoga is being practiced.
I had the privilege of attending a class there taught by a friend, a gentle hatha yoga practice designed to teach yoga to anyone who is interested.
It was taught in English, Arabic and Hebrew, to Arab women aside from myself.
Yoga as a form provided a few minutes away from the heat of the Middle East Sun, the chores of the washing, cleaning, cooking and other work each of us were going to continue that day, a calm space, a retreat, back into the experience of self, the simplicity of breathing and moving.
We all felt well after practice, said hello and goodbye and nice to meet you, perhaps we will meet again, ect. The gentle inquisitiveness of each of us were going now, continuing with our everyday lives, the provoking question of how much traffic there ws going to be and for me to return back to Tel Aviv.
The stark reality that they weren’t going in that direction, and I wasn’t going in theirs.