Why Budokon and Cameron Shayne?
I’ll admit I’ve rewritten this post over 20 times now. There were so many directions I felt pulled because it was such a transformative training experience for me even though it was only a smaller 50 hour one. I knew nothing about Cameron or Melayne before this training except for what I’d read on the internet or impressions from other yogis who may or may not have met them. And we all know how accurate that can be.
Let’s start before the training with me sticking my foot in my mouth. In person, especially in new circumstances or with people I don’t know, except when I’m meeting students or teaching, I have social anxiety. I’m shy and a bit awkward. In general, I’m pretty quiet and I’m more often listening and observing. When I do muster the courage to speak up, there are times when I wonder how the Southern gene missed me? I often wish for a spoonful of Mary Poppins sugar so that my words come out a bit sweeter. People down here are so good at it. So when asked before leaving for this training to read “The Dance of the Lion and the Unicorn” and provide commentary, well, for good or bad, I put me onto the paper. I more or less started off by saying I wondered why the hell I had to read a relationship book for this training? Was Cameron trying to work out his own relationship issues on us? Yep, I know? I’m cringing myself right now as I write the words again.
I kind of thought maybe Cameron was so busy that he wouldn’t actually read all the essays he had us write. Or let’s be honest, I was hoping he wouldn’t. I got a lovely and honest response from Melayne, but still held onto the hope that the words would stop with her eyes. I’m a stubborn mule and have always bucked against authority, but oddly avoid confrontation whenever possible.
Well, all of my hopes of him not reading it were crushed the first day of training, when after he placed us in a circle for introductions, he spoke of my essay. Thank god he didn’t point and say she wrote this, but I can only imagine that my beet red face was like a huge arrow alerting everyone to the guilty party. Thankfully he didn’t chastise me, he didn’t kick me out of the training, but he did basically question how anyone could ever think he was in that space to do anything other than serve as a teacher.
I ate lunch at a sushi bar by myself that first day just hoping I would make it through the next five days unscathed. I had not been so lucky in my first 200 hour training. Many of my fellow trainees were eating together at the same restaurant and I was back again to wishing I wasn’t so awkward and could muster the nerve to join them. Cameron walked by, stopped and asked if I was going to eat by myself? I mumbled some excuse, but after he left, I realized yet again, my fear of rejection had shut me off from making connections. I knew he had picked up on that.
The first night of the training I walked from my hotel to the grocery and ended up passing Cameron, Melayne and a group enjoying the sunny weather sitting outside. I tried to make eye contact to say hi, but they were deep in conversation with one another and me being me, I didn’t want to interrupt. So I walked by. In the background hearing Cameron ask, “Did she really just walk by and not say anything?” And all I could think was “Fuck”. I didn’t even have to say anything to stick my foot in my mouth again. On the way back, I had two choices. I could cross the opposite side of the street where they couldn’t see me and skulk back to my hotel. A pretty common choice for me, especially back in the day when I was less self aware and before I had been tested over and over by the yoga practice. One that I knew ultimately would make me feel like shit. The other choice was to walk the same path I had come, maybe into a fire, maybe not. So I did the latter, made eye contact, said “Hi” and battered my defenses against the onslaught I thought I was going to get (because of who I read he was on the internet).
How he responded in that moment and for the next five days is the reason I’m choosing to train more with Cameron and Melayne. He asked me to sit down and calmly asked why I had walked by. They listened when I answered that I didn’t think I was worth the interruption. He asked me why I had sat alone at lunch? They listened when again I explained how my self confidence was lacking in that moment and how awkward I felt in new situations like this. His answer boiled down to this- That I was being extremely selfish. I was robbing all of these people from me and everything I have to offer. (I kept the tears inside at that moment). Then the question I was really dreading. Why my response in my essay? There are a lot of teachers who would have peacocked up against my response or held offense. But again, they calmly listened as I explained my past experiences in training with previous teachers. How, like all of us, my past experience had colored this one. Had colored the truth. If he hadn’t stopped me and called me out, I think the next five days would have gone differently, but it was a huge wake up call. I was again letting the past me and all of her insecurities color me of this present moment. Letting her color the people I was learning from and training with.
So that’s why Budokon and Cameron Shayne. All of the following are my opinion of course. He doesn’t put up with bullshit and he’s very up front about it. He owns who he is. He’s willing to share about the times he’s still working on himself. He is passionate about what he does and it radiates from him. He will give every ounce of himself and show up if you are willing to do the same. He is real.
I am always willing to try any style of practice or teacher. I may have heard rumors or read opinions, but I try to always walk into a practice space with an open mind. I urge you all to do the same. Find out for yourself. Cameron is not the right teacher for everyone. I’m not the right teacher for everyone. But you will only know that for yourself if you choose not to shut off and experience it for yourself. I am so grateful I have found another teacher who recognized my nature to do that and called me out on it. I am grateful that even though I am a teacher, I still revel in being a student. And I am grateful I found this wonderful community. I cannot wait to see where this next adventure will take me.
Side note: “The Dance of the Lion and Unicorn’ is an amazing book. I was meant to read it when I did and I highly recommend it to everyone.
Header Image by Virgin Aperture. Edited by iCreateLife.
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