[Ed. This letter was considerably longer, but, in the end, it didn’t make sense to yammer on. So we chopped it down to its most essential bits. Below is what we left in.]
Let’s get right to it. Douglas, you need to calm down.
“John’s actions and statements further establish a pattern of behavior that one senior teacher describes as having created “irreparable harm” to the reputation of the community. I believe this to be a fact beyond reasonable dispute. However events in the press portray the situation, the conversation about yoga’s benefits, the history of teaching and teachers, and the study of Indian spiritualities, especially Tantra, has suffered a significant setback due to John’s actions. The Anusara community and the yoga community at large suffers that degradation by association, implication, and public perception.”
“I offer, as Thomas Paine put it, “nothing more than simple facts, plain arguments, and common sense.” But let me not be disingenuous either. Paine fomented a revolution. I am recommending nothing less than that.”
To this we must say:
- You are not starting a “revolution.” You are trying to save the face of an imaginary community of Western yogis, most of whom can barely stand one another (unless their agents suggest they act otherwise [you know who you are, EB & DTF]), and who should have been smart enough to not buy into the branding of a discipline as beautiful as yoga to begin with. Shame on them.
- John Friend’s fall from grace (pun intended) will not have an effect on the tradition of yoga, and it is completely Euro-white-centric for you to suggest it will. Shame on you.
- Anusara’s tarnished name will not effect any means toward personal and authentic Tantric practices and inquiry by serious students of the path. All those who would be swayed by the distractions of this silly cocktail party you call the “yoga community” should probably go right ahead and dismantle that Shiva-Shakti mantle right now. Shame on them.
In light of that, know this:
There is an alternative to this miasma of red-carpet yoga culture, and we at TheBabarazzi.com represent only one small not-so-humble fraction of it.
We do not care about saving the face of yoga or the yoga community. We do not care who likes yoga. We do not care who does not like yoga. We do not care how its image rests upon the blistered iris’ of the public eye. We do not care what writers in the New York Times have to say about yoga. We do not care what people think or feel about yoga. We do not care if people think you will break your back practicing it. We do not care if people think having sex with a donkey is integral to it. We do not care which teacher slept with which student under which full moon on which equinox. We do not care what happens to yoga businesses who trade in the likes of such stupidity as yoga image, yoga fashion, or yoga lifestyle. And, we certainly do not care what happens to Anusara, Inc.
We care about our teachers. We care about our practice. We care about the practice of those who practice with us. Because, no matter what happens to your rich friend’s business, when the sun rises, and most self-proclaimed “yoginis” are still drooling on their Ralph Lauren pillows, we will have already long begun nourishing our deep and sordid love affair with one of the greatest traditions the world will probably ever see.
We will be practicing.