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Travel as Transformation by Sheri Celentano

October 3, 2012

Recently back from three weeks traveling and teaching in Asia, I’ve been contemplating how humbling and transforming it can be to open ones heart to travel. It never fails that I’m knocked off my ego tripping when traveling and teaching in foreign lands. The agenda I’ve set is usually blown to pieces when I step outside of my teaching norm. Shiva dances on any notion of “greatness” I have of myself when I walk into a room of Iyengar Yogis in Ha Noi Vietnam and suddenly realize my auto-teacher button ain’t gonna work. Or rather that my usual peeps that dance like me have left the building! Oh, but what opportunity is before me when the space is open to truly be myself and to allow what I LOVE so much to shine and be infectious. In both Korea and Vietnam the response to Lotus Flow was full of emotion, patience and joy. There is no denying it takes more effort to move and teach like myself when there is both language and style differences. But what I realize at the heart of it, we are all craving the same thing… Love and inspiration and community. So I look to Shiva as the transformer to help transform fear into healthy power. False ego into truth and compassion and to let us dance together no matter where we come from or where we may be going.

In the form Shiva Nantaraja, this amazing Cosmic Dancing Deity is known to simultaneously destroy and create the world over and over. The stomping dance upon demons is there to help is move out of the illusion of “self” and into our true reality. I have recently ready that Shivas Dance is not just a symbol, but something that is taking place within each and everyone of us at the atomic level. This idea appeals to me as it can useful in my everyday experience. There is no need to be stuck in one way of being, and how apparent this becomes when buying airline tickets for the wrong date, having to change a teaching plan in the moment, getting lost on foreign streets, and opening my heart to all people, transformation and the present moment.

A beautiful Bengali Hymn I came across online:
“Because You love the Burning-ground, I have made a Burning-ground of my heart- That You , Dark One, hunter of the Burning-ground, May dance your eternal dance.”

Dance upon my heart Shiva! So that I may be wild and free to experience life and serve my fellow beings!

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