Saturday, December 22, 2012

Laughing Yoga Frog: Chapter 7: Faithful Expectation

The professor often met students who were in college but not really.

They would come to class once and sit off from the rest of the class, take a week off, then wander in lost and confused and then take another week off to recover.

 If and when the professor could get such students to her office she would remind them of a Buddhist proverb: "When the student is ready, the teacher appears" and offer to them that they really weren't meant to be learning this from her, here and now.  Sometimes she would continue in her explanation, saying perhaps they weren't coming to class thirsty for knowledge but surely they were learning alot somewhere else in their life, that something was really compelling them with passion and growth.

 Students often looked down and sad to hear the truth and graciously be allowed to admit that they didn't really want to be in college not now, not here.

 The professor would remind them they were free, and then wished them well on their path, arming them with a lucky stone.

As the 21st century college world would have it, most students didn't ever come to the professor's office.

They came to class, asked questions in class or on email, and went on with their life without ever meeting the laughing yoga frog.

Because the professor spent so many hours in her offices she had plenty of time to grade exams, write lectures, answer email, compile learning outcomes, waterher plants, rearrange her stones and stare out the window at the planes going by.

Sometimes the professor got up from her chair and stood in the tree pose with her frog, falling out of the pose, laughing.  Sometimes she forgot to laugh and instead sat hunched in her chair staring at Dr. Suess WW2 cartoons, trying to pick exactly the right four that together could tell a good story.

On an especially quiet day when the professor had no one to meet with, nothing to grade and nothing to write she stared and stared at the laughing yoga frog and then finally asked of it what she always wanted know.

What are you laughing at?

What are you praying for?

Are you praying  thank you for something delightful that you received?

Or are you praying thank you for something delightful you know you'll get?

Something told her it was the last thing, that the frog was smiling, waiting silently and tree-like, immobile in its faithful expectation of joy.