Years ago, after I completed the teacher training I was asked to sub a class at a studio in Hollywood.  One student showed up.  It was this woman, who looked like she’d just had a car accident.  At first I thought she was just disappointed to be the only one in class with a teacher she didn’t know.  I went ahead and taught the class straight up.  At the end, she gets up and says, “Thank you.  I just had the worst day at work and this is what I needed.”  The look about her though– I had never seen anyone completely change like that.  She was completely lit up and I remember being amazed and completely fired up that I could facilitate that as a teacher.  I realized something else as I walked out of there.  The teachings do the work, but the teacher has a container that they put around the teachings.  Each teacher has a unique offering they can make by being a vehicle for students to come and plug into the teachings. The teachings are fixed and pure, but the teacher provides a style for their delivery.

I went home that night and thought– What’s my unique contribution?  I’ve had this military experience and I can lead people through these courses.  I didn’t want to call it “boot camp” at first, because for people who have served in the military those words are a bit cliche.  I called it boot camp though, so that people would get the impression of completely changing themselves, like you do when you go to a military basic training.  So they knew what they were coming for.

Initially I created the boot camp as a 40-day program, to get people to practice deeply for a period of time.   That they may have an experience and want to continue with a solid daily practice for themselves afterwards.  By the middle of the course, students would always be asking “what are we going to do when this is all over?”  I always told them to create a daily practice for themselves.  Come to class and have a practice you do at home each day.

40 day “meditations” started popping up and became very popular, but as my teacher has pointed out, these 40 day meditations are often misguided.  People started selling 40 day meditations like all the other self help stuff out– “do this for 40 days and you’ll be prosperous and rich.  Your problems will all be over.”  Well it doesn’t work that way.  The point of creating a practice is to develop a relationship with it and have it become a source of energy, a foundation.  My intent for 40 day boot camps was to take people deep into their energy so they would want to continue with a strong practice.  Many of them have gone on to do the teacher training and have become teachers.

It’s become more challenging to do a full on 40 day course so now we teach weekend intensives and Week long or 10 day boot camps.  Check the workshops page and sign up on the mailing list to keep informed about upcoming programs.

Sat Nam,
Jai Gopal