VANDE GURUNAM CARANARAVINDE
SANDARSITA SVATMA SUKHAVA BODHE
NIH SREYASE JANGALIKAYAMANE
SAMSARA HALAHALA MOHASANTYAI
SAHASRA SIRASAM SVETAM
|My mom and grandmother Baba|
Born in Białystok, Poland on August 21, 1919, my grandmother was fiercely courageous, strong willed and direct. She and my grandfather (who passed away in 1974) immigrated to Canada shortly after World War II and settled in Sherbrooke, two hours south east of Montreal, where they raised my mother and her two siblings. Baba loved her garden, her art, her cat, her family and coveted her independence and freedom.
My grandmother taught me about nature, energy, creativity, intuition, and spirituality. Curiously, Baba was a clairvoyant. Although she would rarely talk about it, she did say that strong intuition was a gift that many of the women in her family shared. Deeply spiritual, Baba was devoted to the teachings of Jesus. However, in later years, Baba was also interested in Hindu and Buddhist philosophy, and became a follower of Sathya Sai Baba, an Indian guru. As a kid, she exposed me to various meditation temples and ashrams, which was the ideal preparation for me as a teacher of yoga and meditation.
Thinking of Baba now and observing her powerful artwork on the walls of my studio, I’m overcome with emotion, which is hard for me to express. I wish I had asked her more questions when she was alive, but I am making up for it now. I talk to her in thought and prayer and I occasionally feel as though she is really close to me particularly when I’m sitting alone about practice, and oddly, when I taste dill, because she used to put it on everything.
|My cousin and I keep checking who owns what so we know
who we have to negotiate with to acquire the pieces we want.
|Studio 2 features Baba’s landscapes, which she switched to in the early 80s.|
|A portrait of my grandmother with a letter from Quebec Premier Jean Charest,
expressing his condolences upon Baba’s death.