July 2015 Newsletter

NOTE: I’ve been asked to write something this month about my relationship with Yogi Meshuganatha.

I don’t see Svami Duhkhananda away from the Café Loka very much. He says that our early morning meetings are quite enough for him, and that if he spent any more time with me he would lose what little faith he has left in humanity entirely. I assume he’s joking, though I’m not always sure. He once hinted that he tolerates me because, just as him and Ratanjali, we have a karmic history together. When I asked him what it was, he said that several incarnations ago I was his dog, and that he suspected at the time I had the potential to eventually become a human. He encouraged me to keep on trying and not give up hope.

My relationship with Yogi Meshuganatha (hereafter referred to as M) is a bit different, as we see each other away from the Loka occasionally, usually in connection with one of his two favorite sports, city bus racing and Purning.

I’m not a fan of the former, but I let myself be dragged along occasionally on one of M’s twice monthly pilgrimages to the sport’s so-called Mecca, the small Central Valley community of Rodville, about 40 miles north of Sacramento. Despite his rather unusual appearance (see last month’s newsletter) and adept-hood, he’s made fast friends with the drivers who hang around the race track and the town’s lone watering hole, the Whinery, swapping stories about their prized Blue Birds and restored Hackney Brothers. Most of them are just public transit working stiffs up from the capitol, and towns like Davis and Visalia, maybe as far away as Fresno, though there are a few professionals around who tour with the United States City Bus Racing Association (USCBRA, pronounced us-see-bra).

Whenever we attend one of these events, M and I invariably run into USCBRA’s president and Hall-of-Fame charter member, the legendary Sturgill "Bussy" Flowers. Bussy was the first driver to reach a hundred miles an hour in a city bus, a souped-up, aptly-named Champion, which a few years later he pushed to a land-speed record of hundred-and-eight miles an hour. Many people think it’s impossible to go faster, but Bussy doesn’t agree. "Somewhere out there right now," he predicted to me once, "there’s a kid riding in a Thomas or a Lion or a Starcraft who dreams of being the next me. Yep, they tell him, son, you can’t run a four-minute-mile, you can’t climb Everest, you can’t hit 61 home runs (the actual season record unaided by flax seed oil or steroids), and you can’t drive a city bus a hunnert miles an hour. But guess what, Bannister didn’t listen, Hillary didn’t listen, Maris didn’t listen, and I didn’t listen. This kid, whoever he is, won’t listen either, because ya know why? Because he’s nuts, that’s why, just like me."

M and I like to arrive at the Ralph Kramden Memorial Bus Racing Field about an hour before the first scheduled event. We stop in at the drivers’ clubhouse, where M is greeted with a raucous chorus hoots and heys from the racers and their crew members. We sit around and shoot the fumes, as they like to say, getting caught up on the latest news from the other big US racing centers, No Pines, Iowa, Muggy, Alabama, and of course Las Vegas. Then just before it’s time to buckle up, the racers gather reverently around M for his blessing. Somehow he’s decided that Krishna is their patron saint, probably because he famously charioteered for Arjuna in the apocalyptic battle over the throne of Bharata. "OM," he roars, and the drivers respond in unison with the bija mantra he’s bestowed on them, "BRRRM." He then petitions the blue-skinned avatar to protect the drivers from injury (I’ve noticed though he never says anything about avoiding crashes, which he seems to relish) just as he protected his warrior passenger while practically everyone else on both sides of the civil war got wiped out. "And remember boys," he always concludes, "that in the end, win, lose, or tie, we’re all just vehicles of the divine Mother. You might be an El Dorado, a Gillig, a Van Hool, even an Ebus" (a smattering of laughter mixed with boos from the old timers, who refuse to change with the times and accept electric buses), but only one thing matters to her, and it’s not the shift you’re working, the route you’re taking, the weather, or who gets on or who gets off ... no, all that matters to her is how you drive, the attention you bring to the road in the present moment. Now go out there and kick some gas."


At this point I usually breathlessly report all the exciting events I’ll be involved in during the coming month. But for July I’ve absolutely nothing on the schedule, so I wish you a happy Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and so on all the way to Thirty-first and beyond. I’ll be back in August. Richard
Copyright © 2015 Richard Rosen Yoga, All rights reserved.

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