I have known John Earle since 1997, when we worked together as seasonal staff at the Omega Institute for Holistic Studies in New York for 6 months. It was fate that brought us together, as I originally had another co-worker from our seasonal staff pool who decided that Omega wasn’t right for her, and John happened to be looking for a new job on campus that would allow him to do something more meaningful. Our task in the Programming Department was to contact potential instructors about leading upcoming workshops the following year on Omega’s beautiful campus. These people were visionaries in their field–authors, teachers, spiritual leaders, etc. It was actually a pretty cool gig.
But the best part of it, by far, was working with John. We just clicked. There was so much I loved about working with him (and honestly, just hanging out with him in general, as we spent a lot of time outside of work together too). But what I loved the most was how great he thought I was. John was somewhere between a best friend and a father-figure for me during our time at Omega, and his love was purely unconditional. Working with him, and talking to him, everyday for 6 months built my self-worth and self-confidence more than anything or anyone had in the almost 3 decades I had been alive.
Leaving Omega at the end of our season was heart-wrenching because I no longer had this daily unconditionally-loving support system. But John and I have stayed in touch over the past two decades, and I have even visited him and his lovely wife, Babbie, at their former home in Vermont, and in their current home in Boquete, Panama. John has continued the spiritual work he had been doing since before we were together at Omega: writing a book which our yoga book club read, Waking Up: Learning What Your Life is Trying to Teach You; leading retreats and workshops; starting a hospice in Panama; and counseling individuals and couples. I now call on him as my spiritual counselor in times of need. I have learned so much from him and grown so much as a person because of our relationship.
And now I am honored and thrilled that John has agreed to offer a weekly 1/2-hour inspirational talk and meditation, Cultivating Compassion In Challenging Times, via Zoom for all students registered for my upcoming 9-week Soothing Yoga For Stressful Times course. Students can join live and have the ability to interact with John directly, or listen to the recording of each workshop at their convenience. Topics include Awareness, Personal Responsibility, Inner Work, Action and more. John is very much into the practical aspects and daily application of spiritual principles. Each of our times together will include a practice that participants can integrate into their daily lives. I am really excited to give my students this opportunity to learn from John. My experiences working with him have been life-transforming, and I know that having someone as a guide who can uplift us and help reframe our perspectives during these challenging times will be invaluable.