‘You’re A Strange Man,’ She Said.

Tommy-Head-ShotLast week I participated in my eighth 3HO Kundalini Summer Solstice event up in the mountains outside of Española, New Mexico. This is the world-wide gathering of Kundalini Yogis who come to connect with each other, practice yoga, meditate, sing, dance and reflect on our lives.

The event is powerful, challenging, joyful. We all wake up at 3:00am to do a 2.5 hour morning Sadhana (Spiritual Practice) and then we practice yoga and meditate most of each day. There is a lot of music in this community, so many of the classes we attend have amazing live musical performances. On one such day, I attended such a class which was taught by noted musician, Snatam Kaur, and her husband, Sopurkh Singh.  If you have not yet heard Snatam’s music, treat yourself to this heart-opening soul nourishment by checking out Spirit Voyage.

I’ve spent the better part of the last quarter century seeking out powerful live music experiences. I followed the Grateful Dead from 1983 forward. Regardless of what you think of The Grateful Dead, you surely understand that we Deadheads are lunatics when it comes to our passion for this music. Thus, I don’t make the following statement lightly…
The 2-hour Kundalini Yoga experience I had with Snatam and Sopurkh was as epic an experience as I can remember ever having. Now, just so you know, I am a sober individual. Neither drugs nor alcohol played a part in any of this. The elements of joy – love, connection, music, spiritual teachings which lead to the Truth and community – were all present. When I left there the entire world was brighter. I do not mean to say that the world seemed brighter. I’m claiming that the world WAS brighter as if someone turned on the lights.

Now, you can imagine how hard it is to leave the powerful forcefield of this land, this community and this event, especially in the middle of it all. And yet, as fate would have it, that same day I needed to pick up my dear wife who was flying into Albuquerque that night. Thus, I had to drive down the hill and interface with the rest of the world, which is fine albeit a bit odd at first. I thought to drive to the Whole Foods in Santa Fe, a regular point of visitation for us each year.

Once at Whole Foods, I made a salad, sat down in the dining area and looked for a plug to charge my computer to write this very blog. There was a “four-top table” with the only plug to be found. A woman was sitting there intently watching a movie on her computer. I stepped over and asked if she would mind if I sat at the table so that I could plug my computer in as well. She angrily stated, “You can sit somewhere else.” I explained that I only wanted to sit there so that I could plug in. She looked at other tables and said, “there’s plenty of space elsewhere. I don’t want you to sit here.” I asked her, “Why don’t you want me to sit here?” she snapped back, “I’m having a private moment, you’re interrupting me and you’re a strange man.”

My first thought was actually a good one, “Tommy, step away from this woman right quick!” So, without saying a word, I walked away and around a corner I found a man sitting by another plug. I asked him if I could share the table with him. He looked up at me, smiled and said, “Sure man, sit down. There’s another plug right over there.” So there you have it. The world has its positive and negative energies. Our job is to navigate them with as much grace as possible. Today, I was able to muster just the slightest bit of grace, and for that, I get to be in my own center free of resentment. Of course, the woman was right. I am a strange man. I am literally sending her blessings as I sit here and write this and that is very strange indeed.

With Love and Peace,

Tommy Rosen


Tommy Rosen is a yoga teacher and addiction specialist. Check out his website here.

  • Dawn

    Btw ..you recovery 2.0 conf was awesome! The format, how you handled the interviews..great job..

  • Dana

    No, not strange. Just real. It’s the rest of the world — so afraid of real-ness and connection, so programmed, like the woman watching her movie, to be defensively separate — that is strange and sad. Keep the love energy flowing inward and outward.

  • Neno

    All I could think of as I read the story were some choice words I would have had for the woman. But to be at that level of growth where you don’t have the need to react or be defensive is where I want to be.

  • Melanie Horsnell

    fantastic.. today i had a venue cancel a show on me… grumbly man telling me he had double booked… felt a bit cranky but squashed it down, then with a little help from a great fan i have a new venue for this fridays show.. i have a very good feeling this place is the actual place to play with a beautiful audience. i’m glad i sat on that crankiness for a while

  • Yoga + Snatam Kaur = Heaven

  • Elizabeth

    I applaud you for your reaction to this situation; it would have been all too easy to be reactive when so much hostility is coming your way. I also have to say that I respect the woman in your situation as well; too many times, women are taught that we should be submissive and allowing, so I’m impressed by the fact that she was able to repeatedly set a boundary, even when you kept questioning her. What a wonderful post, so many opportunities for inspiration here!

  • Karen

    My immediate reaction to HER reaction was sadness that her spirit was that negative. How beautifully you handled the situation, and thank you so much for sharing it with us. There is a wonderful lesson to be learned from that exchange. I enjoyed your entire message and felt total peace and tranquility come over me as I tuned out by tuning in to the soothing music of Spirit Voyage. Thank you. Namaste.

  • Corey Johnson

    I want to go to this fetival next year – sounds wonderful and I don’t even practice yoga regularly. Thanks for this post.

  • Todd Lohenry

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful story of possibilities!