This has been a week of remembrance as I honor and make peace with the passing of my friend and teacher Jonathan Patriarca. He was the first man I met on my journey into the world of yoga who actually taught me about yoga. He introduced me to Bheemashakti Yoga, a unique approach to yoga that has shaped much of how I practice and teach to this day. As a devoted student it has been difficult to come to terms that Jonathan is no longer around to share his insights. At times it has been terrifying.
Accepting the loss of a teacher feels a lot like being lost inside of a department store when I was a kid. I don’t know who to ask for help and I wonder if I will ever find my way. But as the reality of Jonathan’s departure settles in I find myself turning inward, touching the impressions he made on my heart and mind. These imprints are a deep, corrugated network of memories, wisdom, and guidance. And as I trace my awareness along the veiny channels of my subconscious, in that place where Jonathan’s influence lives on, what I find is a beautiful recording of his teachings that I can play over and over again. So although the physical embodiment of a master is absent, what remains is a complex map drawn by the years we spent learning from and teaching one another. With this map, this music, I feel comforted in knowing that Jonathan left behind a rich resource in each and every one of his students.
Perhaps we can never recreate his laugh or his stories about his time with his Master in India, but we have something of our very own. What we have is the opportunity to nurture the seeds he planted within us, to grow our very own gardens in tribute to this man we all called teacher. Inside all of those seeds everything we need continue our work. And if we listen, if we pay attention, Jonathan continues to guide us from the seat of our inner teacher- the ultimate guide on this path to freedom.
In Loving Memory.