hands, and nally and miraculously her whole body emerge from her mother’s womb and into
the world.Her name is Jasmine. She was born in May 2003. By then her daddy had become a successstory. I was a yoga teacher and businessman and devoted all my time to both. I had emergedfrom my sister’s death extremely focused. I was determined to stay sober and to use myremaining days in the service of the God of my understanding. Everything else was just ameans to that end.In the years before my daughter was born, people sometimes would say I had a big ego, thatI was intimidating, that I did not listen, or that I was arrogant. But I did not care. I was teachingyoga to a hundred people a day, and each week the teachers I supervised taught threethousand. This was part of my mission, and the mission was all that mattered.
A few days after Jasmine was born, my wife asked
if I could hold the baby while she took ashower. I was dumbfounded: Why should I be implicated if my wife decided to take a shower?
If I had a motto at that time it would have been the advice a father of ve once gave me: “If you
want to get anything done, leave early and leave alone”—emphasis on alone. The next fewmonths were very bad between my wife and me; everything was a problem. The next coupleof years were pretty bad; most things were a problem.
Yoga teaches us that our lives are in constant
transformation, the old ways dying to make wayfor new ones. The Buddha taught that our resistance, our clinging to the old ways of being,
causes us to suffer. In the rst months of my daughter’s life, in the rst months of my new life
as a father, I clung to my old life.I clung to the way I spent my time, to my freedom to choose how my day unfolded, to myalone time with my wife, walks with my dogs, nights of unbroken sleep. I clung to the person
who I thought I was. The Buddha said that to resist what is, burns like re. In the midst of mysuccess story I burned like re. My wife and I went to couples counseling and talked a lot
about my failings, but I continued to cling to my ideas of how I thought things should be.Jasmine was not fazed by any of this. She came into this world to have a great time, andshe set about that goal with a passion. She was talking and walking at eleven months andspent her days exploring and learning. Each night before bed, she and her mom would lookat pictures of all the people in her life and she would name them all. Then they would sing alullaby that listed all of the people who loved her. In a card she made for Jasmine at the endof kindergarten, her teacher wrote, “I will never forget the joy and enthusiasm you bring toeverything in your life.”When we expose darkness to the light it becomes light. I had a choice: the darkness of holding on to the old ways or the light of the family my wife and Jasmine were offering me. Myold ideas continued to make sense to me, until a friend told me about a nine-day retreat hehad just completed at a meditation center in Massachusetts. He spoke enthusiastically about
the experience, and a couple of months later I went on my rst meditation retreat. That was a
few years ago, and since then I have been like a snake shedding its skin.
"If you want to get anything done,leave early and leave alone."