Karma by Dalmatia Flemming

“I’ll have a hummus sandwich with sprouts on whole wheat bread.”

“Excellent choice!  Anything to drink?”

“A cup of coffee.  May I have soy milk instead of cream?”

“Of course.”

“Great. Thank you.”

Sienna pulled her tablet out of her yoga bag.  She quickly navigated to her email account and began to read while waiting for her friend Mariah to arrive.

“Sienna!”

Sienna looked up.  “Mariah, it’s so good to see you, it’s been awhile! Well, being that we used to see each other about 5 times a week.”  Sienna arose from her chair and the two hugged tightly.

“I know.  Once every 3 weeks just isn’t working for me.  It’s great to see you too Sienna!  Thanks for suggesting this, good idea.”

“Here … have a seat.  I ordered about 5 minutes ago.”

Mariah sat down and the two women locked their gaze.

Sienna leaned forward.  “Did you hear the latest?”

Mariah collapsed back into her chair and heaved a dramatic sigh.  “Don’t tell me there’s more!”

“But there is.”

Mariah groaned.

“Ah, my sandwich is on the way.  Mariah, why don’t you order something?”

“I can’t afford to go out to lunch.  I can’t afford anything.”  More drama.

“No problem.  You can have half of my sandwich and I’ll add to my order and we can share everything.”

“That is SO charitable of you Sienna, thank you!  I really appreciate it!”

“No problem…. Oooh, this looks delicious, thank you!  I’d like to add a Greek salad to my order and the two of us will be sharing.”

“OK, anything to drink?”

“Yes please, coffee.”

“You got it!”

The two women locked their gaze again.

“I had to switch from a Smart phone to a flip phone to save money.  Then, my laptop died and I can’t afford to get it fixed.  So, I assume there’s been another flurry of emails?”

“You will NOT believe this Mariah.”

Mariah half covered her eyes with her hands, peering through her spread fingers in a child-like sort of way.

Sienna began to read from her email.  “The first one is dated April 6” …
Saturday Yoga Intensives with Tarin at Yogiland!
Starting this Saturday, 11-12:30pm.  All levels welcome!
$15 per session, space is limited!
***

… “And the second is dated April 9.”

Dear Friends,

I am sorry to inform you that the Saturday morning class will be postponed until further notice.

Many of you are aware of the health crisis I have been experiencing since November.  I have regained some strength and thought I was able to teach once a week. However, I have experienced another setback.

My doctor has confirmed that my health is still in a very fragile state. Without any protection, it would be damaging for me to return to work in ANY capacity.

I know the closing of my studio, Yogi Universe, has been a hardship for many of you, especially on a financial level. Please know that I am mindful of that and am working to find a solution.

Thank you for your understanding and patience.

Tarin
***

“What the ….  ‘Mindful’ my ass!  She absconded with the money!  This is unbelievable!”

“I know, I know.  OK … so now let me read you some of the responses ….  Wait, I have to scroll down to the bottom.  There’s quite an email string here ….”

Tarin, I still have not been reimbursed for the classes that I pre-paid at your previous studio, Yogi Universe, even though I sent you numerous requests. Please fulfill your commitment to your previous students.
A response is appreciated!
Cameron
***

Tarin, I do need to voice that I have not been reimbursed for the Teacher Training course at Yogi Universe that never happened. Considering it was all the money I had at the time, I have been at a huge financial loss since the incident and have been unable to go back to school. I would love to come to your classes, but I need to feel that my financial rights are being respected.  Considering you are back in the game, let’s talk about how we can keep moving forward on this.

Namaste,
Ocean
***

Hello Everyone,
I’m sure that many of you are in a similar situation:  having been personally, emotionally as well as financially burdened by the closing of Yogi Universe. While many of you have grievances over not-insignificant amounts of money, I respectfully suggest that “replying to all” is not the best way to air them. Please consider that for as much as you have all lost, Tarin has lost as much if not more. As we all know from practicing with her, it was never her intention to be in this situation and I’m sure it pains her greatly to be here.

Respectfully,
Nat
***

I DO think it is appropriate to be public with our opinions on this Nathan.  And I do empathize with what Tarin has lost and what she is trying to regain.

I too have lost $1000 to Yogi Universe but I am in a situation in life where I do not need to beg her for its return. However, I do not respect Tarin’s decision to teach classes for a fee.  She needs to acknowledge the burden she has placed on many people’s lives. It is NOT the yogic way.

Kate
***

What a shock it was for all of us.  Let’s hope if we do not receive our funds, that we can learn a valuable lesson from this beyond where currency can go.

Sincerely, Jessica
***

Well, it is not my news to share, so without getting too detailed, I have learned that Tarin has known for 14 years that she was ill.  Why couldn’t she share some of these details with us?  I’m sure there was a balance point somewhere between retaining her privacy and keeping us informed.  She should have granted someone else power of attorney over her business.  It was negligent not to do so under the circumstances.  I’m not so sure it is as you stated, Nathan.

Edith
***

“Nathan is a twit.  I agree, we need to be united.  Of course we should ‘respond to all’, what’s wrong with him.  And what’s with Jessica.  Enough of this yogic BS!”

… Oh … wait a minute … this is good ….  I forwarded this string to my friend Maggie.  She took a few classes from Tarin at Yogi Universe, but was not a regular; probably because her ESP was telling her to run for her life!  … This is good …

Hello Sienna,
WOW!  This is an interesting ripple in the saga of Tarin’s own yogic path, isn’t it?  Sounds like she is in denial to me.  Will there be a second test of faith leaving young yogis and yoginis even more wounded?  She could simply offer free classes to all of her creditors until their balances are even, both financially and spiritually.

Did I ever tell you about the Buddhist group that I was involved with where improprieties abounded? These emails remind me of that.  It’s amazing to me the denial or cover-up that happens when a teacher behaves like this.  Some people just cannot accept that they’ve been really betrayed by someone they loved and respected.

I’ll admit to being curious about how she intends to teach with the big nasty elephant in the room. Is she suggesting that we embrace stealing into our yoga philosophy and practice?

I still find myself thinking and talking about her occasionally in the context that spectacular physical mastery of the asanas does not necessarily equate with enlightenment and joy.

You can share my musings on trusting Tarin with anyone who might benefit from a gentle warning. It would be tempting to a young and open heart to jump in and try again.

XO, Maggie
***

“Right on!  Well, all I have to say is … Karma”.

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About bbcstudiowrites

This blog is me archiving the BBC Studio Writers Workshop.

Posted on November 17, 2015, in Fiction, Seattle, Short Stories. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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