Everyone is Your Guru

My guru is a little jewish woman

with bright lipstick

and sparkling earrings.

We meditate in her beautiful home

with the soles of our feet touching a soft fluffy rug

and a backyard view that can take your breath away.

And when I think of her at random times, I laugh out loud

because she is hysterical

and kind

and a bit of hard ass

and a fan of the carnivore diet.

Ram Dass says “when you know how to listen everyone is the guru.”

The problem is, I often can’t listen because I am being annoyed, or judgy of others or short sided or a combination of all these factors.

I try not to criticize myself as I realize I needed my guru to come wrapped in familiarity, laugher and red lipstick, in order for me to listen.

About a year ago I went looking for a “teacher”. Someone to show me the way out of my darkness and lead me into the light. On a whim, I joined “Meetup”. I signed up for one single meditation meetup to give it a try.

My guru lead us in an exercise where we sat uncomfortably close together in pairs and stared into each other's eyes for about 5 minutes. This sounds easy. It’s not. It’s awkward and humbling and down right painful. But I looked into her eyes and I saw myself.

I saw love

and clarity

and calm.

During the course of the year I relearned how to mediate, to be present, to breathe, to read from the masters. My guru reminded me of my dad and my mom and my favorite aunt (if I had one) all rolled into one.

She made me laugh.

She sent me text messages during my work day saying things like, “Are you breathing?”

She reminded us to be present when washing the dishes.

Really be there.

Feel the warm water going through our fingers, notice the texture of the sponge, smell the fragrance of the dish soap.

It was these little practices that helped me to break up with darkness.

Meditating every morning became my medicine.

The magic of the present moment ignited my creativity.

I started to stitch for the first time in years.

Every time I sat to meditate, my heart filled with joy and visions filled my brain with color and fabric and shapes.

It came to me in a meditative state to do a portrait of Ram Dass.


I thought about it for a long time, I envisioned birds flowing around him, I saw the colors and the light.

The entire piece came together like a dream.

It sits in my studio and watches over me and brings peace to everyone who visits.

He reminds me to focus on opening my heart.

To practice forgiveness and have patience with myself and with others.

I hope to drop my expectations and judgement and be open to all the guru’s who cross my path, even if they don’t wear red lipstick.