An Example of Sangha (Spiritual Community)
These thoughts from Rev Jivana Heyman, written just after the recent election, are a testament to the benefit of spiritual community.
An Excerpt from The Antidote is Hope, by Rev Jivana Heyman
Accessible Yoga was born out of my interest in bringing people together who believe in sharing the teachings of yoga with everyone. People who are dedicated to finding peace in their lives and sharing that peace with others regardless of ability or background. In the wake of the election, I found myself starting to lose hope and to feel that these efforts are just a drop in the bucket, and that we’re basically doomed. So, my question is, “How can we find hope in these scary times?”
One thing that gives me hope is our Accessible Yoga community. Community is the key to the resurrection of hope. Community will hold us up when we’re feeling down, it will encourage our personal growth, and it will offer us a platform for service. By caring for each other, and supporting each other, we can make it through this. Thoughtful, loving communities like this one are the key to driving out the darkness that seems so pervasive.
In yoga philosophy, this darkness is understood as egoism. It is our job as yogis to vanquish the darkness of our own minds, and in turn, from the society that reflects our minds. Swami Satchidananda speaks of the darkness of the ego. “Every person dreams inside the egoistic shell which is totally dark. We all must break the shell to allow the light to come in. That’s the main purpose behind all the yoga practices.”
There is a well-known Vedic prayer that speaks to the triumph of light over darkness. My prayer is that through these dark days we remain hopeful and retain our vision of a loving peaceful world – may the light of truth overcome all darkness!
Asato Maa Sat Gamaya
Tamaso Maa Jyothir Gamaya
Mrityor Maa Amritam Gamaya
Lokaah Samastaah Sukhino Bhavantu
Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti
Lead us from unreal to real.
Lead us from darkness to the light.
Lead us from the fear of death
To knowledge of immortality.
May the entire universe be filled with Peace and joy, love and light
Om peace, peace, peace