A Yogi in Central Park

The man claimed to be a Yogi. We were in Central Park when he said this, and we were on our way to meditate beneath a crooked tree. The Yogi asked us questions, all of the “do you know…” form and told anecdotes largely of the folk wisdom variety. Are we yoga practitioners? Do we know what namaste really means? Not knowing is good, very important. I don’t know anything. We learn by experience, not by holding opinions or by holding forth. There are nine kinds of yoga. You do not like Bikram: thank God. Do you know what yoga means? There is the eastern answer and the western answer. Practice being non-judgmental. Do you know about Buddhism? Most people don’t listen; they are only concerned with satisfying their material needs. Everyone is a teacher and a student. You are a philosopher? Were we interested in attending the School of Practical Philosophy? Happiness, nine classes.

We thanked him for his time and continued walking along the dirt path. After we said goodbye, he returned to tell us that there was also laughing yoga. Then he left again.