The Fifty Year Old Heist

Healing old debts brought about by spiritual training

Here is an interesting story about how methods of practice of yoga and associated arts work in real life. Back when I was in high school, I was wrongfully accused of some malicious acts and asked to leave the school. Subsequently I was enrolled in a private high school which my mother had been researching, as she was not happy with the crowd I was hanging around with. I made new friends in the private school; however they were of the same caliber as my old friends. As graduation approached we hatched a scheme to steal the textbooks from the students taking final exams. The school protocol called for the students to leave their books outside of the classroom when they were taking finals. We would steal the books during finals and transport them to a used bookseller who would buy the books from us.

On finals day one of my friends borrowed his mother’s car and we parked right outside the main entrance to the school. There were three of us, and one of us stayed with the car while my friend and I stole all the books we could fit into the sacks we had brought along. We quickly drove downtown to the used bookseller, where we made the transaction. Elated we drove off with the money, which we immediately blew while hanging out at times square. We subsequently graduated and the theft was forgotten.

Thirty years later after I had become successful in my paper business and was teaching Karate and Tai Chi, I became interested in yoga. As I did not have a teacher, I started practicing from yoga tapes. Soon after, I discovered a school near my house and started practicing with my teacher Alan Finger. With practice my body really started to open up and I started experiencing during my personal practice altered states of consciousness where time did not exist and everything was right where it should be. My mind calmed. My body opened up and my breath became long slow and deep. Happiness became a part of my everyday life. And then that thirty year old theft slipped back into my mind.

It stayed with me for the next 20 years. When I would least expect that memory to surface, it did. What was I to do? When I related the story to my daughter, she suggested that I send a check to the school covering the value of the books, which I did. However I neglected to tell the school the reason for the check. The memories stayed with me. The guilt continuing daily. It was then that I received an invitation to the 50th anniversary class reunion of the private school. My path was now in front of me. I realized that this upcoming event was my opportunity to release my karmic debt. I called the reunion committee and asked for 10 minutes in order to speak to the class.

The night of the reunion came quickly. We were about 30 people at a long rectangular table. I stood up and proceeded to tell the story of the 50 year old theft. There was quiet in the room as I detailed our plan to the best of my ability. Then came the questions. Who were my associates? Were they present? How much money did we get? One of my friends was at the table, however he said nothing and I did not reveal his part. Soon after the memories faded away. My guilt disappeared, my practice continued. The fifty year old theft was gone.

That is the way it works. When the mind calms enough our old emotional traumas surface. We need to let them go. I guess I was lucky the reunion came about. It gave me the opportunity I needed to. Get closer to my soul. Yoga postures properly performed act to bring our body mind and spirit into balance. Discovering spirituality is a natural process brought about thru practice and meditation. Internal arts are the key to finding happiness within our daily life.