Suffering

Our spiritual community had a very meaningful sharing and discussion after the recent election.  It was so helpful for us to come together, hear from each other the spectrum of feelings and concerns that we felt, and inspire each other with positive ideas for how we might respond in the days to come.
One of our senior teachers, Kristie Home, spoke so eloquently in her closing remarks that numerous participants mentioned that they wished they had her comments in writing.

Here is what Kristie later wrote:
I was speaking extemporaneously, but have done my best to recreate the statement for sharing. Great thanks to all who attended and shared the evening; your company was a comfort.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Once, a newer teacher who I was mentoring came to speak with me. She had established a class with a steady following in a community she was happy to serve. They were loving the asana practice. How, though, she wanted to know, could she interest them in taking their practice deeper? She felt like she’d tried everything. What would it take to really get them seeking, she wanted to know? I smiled and replied immediately and brightly, “Suffering!”
If you think about what brought you to spiritual practice, it was probably a time of great pain. A few people come to practice purely from curiosity, and they are blessed! But most of us come to practice from pain. When we feel pain and suffer, we seek to change, to grow. If we look back, it is often the hardest of times which grow us the most, which make us wiser and stronger.
So, here we are. There is so much pain, so much suffering, for so many of us, as individuals and as a people right now. Let us feel this pain, and also let us know our peace, and from the two, let us press toward right action, toward clear sight, toward enlightenment. Let us care for one another in the dangerous times ahead; let us stay awake, vigilant, and grow. May this hard time spark the best of things in all of us.
May we all be free. 
Kristie Home

2016-12-26T18:14:20+00:00 December 26th, 2016|1 Comment

Exposing the Illusion of a Separate Self

My teacher, Sri Swami Satchidananda, used to playfully say, “We were fine, then we got defined.  Now we must refine ourselves.”  He was referring to the way that we unconsciously draw a line around ourselves—this is me–making it difficult to perceive the truth of our connection to the web of life.

These barriers we create become an armor around the heart, preventing the natural movement of love that feels so right and is so fulfilling to us.  Gathering regularly with others on the path offers us a sense of spiritual family that erodes these barriers, and inspires us in numerous ways.  Serving together exposes our limitations and selfishness, and learning together creates exponential opportunities to remember the truth of our oneness.

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2016-12-24T02:44:55+00:00 December 24th, 2016|Comments Off on Exposing the Illusion of a Separate Self

The Truth of Togetherness


“A human being is a part of a whole, called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest… a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”   Albert Einstein

2016-12-19T19:32:39+00:00 December 19th, 2016|Tags: |Comments Off on The Truth of Togetherness

We All Belong

Wild Geese
You do not have to be good.

You do not have to walk on your knees

For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.

You only have to let the soft animal of your body

love what it loves.
Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.

Meanwhile the world goes on.

Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain

are moving across the landscapes,

over the prairies and the deep trees,

the mountains and the rivers.

Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,

are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,

the world offers itself to your imagination,

calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting —

over and over announcing your place

in the family of things.
-Mary Oliver-

2016-12-15T21:46:42+00:00 December 15th, 2016|Tags: , |Comments Off on We All Belong