Happy Leap Day!
Hello my dear friends, this as an ode to you:
What in your life have you really done on your own?
From every warm glint of light, and every rainy thundershower,
to every crisp autumn breeze, and oh so snowy winters day.
We are surrounded by a gathering of friends that know no enemies
Nor is any small unnoticed deed for naught.
Why then, do I find myself alone in thoughts,
drizzled in the haze of confusion and loneliness?
Isolated, afraid, and buried 'neath the mountain of memories
weighted by ten tons of regret.
Oh my how we do forget,
that it is not by our own power or will or desire that we live.
Our lives intertwined like a finely woven tapestry;
so many stories told and so many to be discovered yet.
My mother told me, at a young age, that no one would ever be my friend unless I made friends with myself first. Sri Dharma sometimes says that the Inmost Self is the best teacher, friend, and lover that we will ever know. I believe that both of those statements are so highly valuable and absolutely imperative in understanding how to live in this world, especially with the amount of divisiveness and violence that inundates our world. I had so much difficulty at a young age with the competitiveness and the cultural emphasis of individualism in combination with what I now realize is being very introverted (illustrations of introvert/extrovert experience). What if we dropped all the labels, though, and concentrated on the universally accessible quality of friendliness?
To be friendly means to be harmless, non-threatening/hostile, and deeply appreciative, nourishing, and supportive. If we look at nature, the supreme teacher who guides this planet and the all that has form, everything exists as a friend to one another. Some friends give their lives for each other, and some spare each other the pain of living beyond proper measure. There is a delicate balance at work that gently guides and fosters life and silently and invisibly moves everything in existence in ways the human mind has yet to fully comprehend. Ultimately, any kind of resistance is met, and through contraction or expansion, exchange takes place and nothing is ever lost or wasted. If you look at any plant, you can see this process in action every day. Each plant utilizes whatever nutrients are available for it to thrive, and everything is used in order to further its own life, but also to contribute to the entire world around itself. Every fallen leaf, every molecule of fresh oxygen, everything is given back to the whole. Why do we think that these fundamental principles in nature do not apply to our lives?
If we want peace, love, joy, happiness, success, wealth, or any pleasure in our lives we must recognize the value of friendliness, and friendship that extends beyond mere tolerance or cooperation. Arrogance, false pride, selfishness, hatred, jealousy, loneliness, and misery are the result of the impoverished attitude of scarcity and thoughtless competitiveness. Arrogance is believing that our own point of view is truth. Pride is misplaced when we mistake the fruits of our actions as a product of our own doing. Selfishness is born of the inability or unwillingness to be with everyone and everything else. Hatred comes from fear of the other (and belief that there is an other). Jealousy arises when we believe we are not given our due measure (we always have what we need, or are able to rely on one another for assistance). Loneliness is the self-perpetuating story of isolation in the environment where nothing exists apart from anything else. And misery is adding salt to a wound.
Let's be like water for each other. This whole world as we know it exists because there is water on the planet. Though many live without clean and clear water, all who live depend on it. When we clean out our minds and hearts of all that hides our genuine friendliness we can be a fresh spring for each other. Like Fela Kuti wrote Water No Get Enemy.
I'll be subbing at Flow Yoga Center for the next few weeks. Every day is the day to practice.
For notifications of other classes or events at 1719 Lamont St. Sign up here
10:30 - 11:45a at Flow
5:15 - 6:15p at Flow
8:05 - 9:05p Breathing and meditation (Raja Yoga) at Flow
6:30-8p at Flow
6:15 - 7:30p at Shaw Yoga
10:30 - 11:45a at Flow
11:50 - 12:20p Meditation by donation at Flow
10:30 - 12p at 1719 Lamont St NW by donation
5 - 6:15p at Flow
May we remember the deep friendship of our own heart that unites our lives with the lives of all other beings. May our lives be a blessing to life itself, and may we gratefully accept whatever blessings are bestowed upon our own lives.