of Body and Mind
A young man challenged a Zen Master to an archery contest. With his first arrow he hit the bull's-eye, and with his second, he split the first. Triumphantly, he turned to the Zen Master.
The Master said nothing, but led the young man up a mountain to a deep gorge.
Walking out on a rotten log spanning the chasm, the Master stopped in the middle.
drew his bow, and released an arrow, which flew straight and true,
embedding itself in a distant tree-trunk.
-- Zen Story
At the end of the workshop, Kumar invited me to dinner. I learned that he was born in India in 1918 and for many years made a living demonstrating yoga and feats of strength and balance. This man, who earlier in the day had been doing one-armed push-ups, was in his mid 70's!
After dinner, Kumar talked about his appearances on the Ed Sullivan Show, Captain Kangaroo, and the Mickey Mouse Club. For a while, he had been Hollywood's on-call yogi for stunts, like lying on a bed of nails. He pulled out an album with photographs of him with stars like Bob Hope and John Wayne.
One black & white photo especially caught my attention. It was taken from the street, looking up at the roof of a 3-story building, where Kumar was in a hand-stand on the ledge, high above the sidewalk, with no net. When I asked him about the photograph he grinned with delight, as if sharing one of his most treasured secrets. "When I first moved to America I did not have any money. I discovered that if you do a hand-stand on the sidewalk, no one cares, but if you do a hand-stand on the edge of a tall building, people give you money!" He was obviously pleased with himself.
Whether done on the ground or on the edge of a precipice, to Kumar, a hand-stand is still just a hand-stand. Obviously, Kumar was a yoga teacher who truly was master of both body and mind.
|Spells of Visibility|
|Taking a Vacation from Work|
|Finding Yoga in Chaos & Order|
|The Tao of
|Effort and Grace|
Mind & Body
Back from 10
for the Good
|The Peace Pilgrim|
|Follow Your Bliss|
|Leading by Example|
|Glaciers and Chess|
|The Warrior's Path|
|The Other Person|