I am perhaps a little late in sending out this announcement. The time when I usually would have sent it was smack in the middle of the enmeshed and engulfing energies of the election and Hurricane Sandy. In contemplating what I should write in my invitation to the annual Thanksgiving Day Yoga Fundraiser for Oxfam, I had such an assortment of ideas about gratitude, about abundance, about service, about expressing and receiving thanks, especially when so many are experiencing conflict, hardship, pain, and loss, that I found myself as if I had nothing to say. It occurred to me, among my many musings, that as long as I have something to give, it wouldn’t matter if I have nothing to say.
One of the key reasons I meditate and practice asana is to spend defined periods of time being intentionally one-pointed (ekagrata) in my focus. Out of the apparent maelstrom of experiences, sensations, emotions, and ideas to which we are exposed and in which we can be immersed or even submerged, a point of focus can arise for speaking or acting that frees us from being so caught up in the whirl that we cannot move. Being intimate with and knowing how to get to the space of stillness and focus–and remembrance of what is most important to us, which I think is a critical element of true gratitude–can help us better take care of ourselves and the society and ecosystems with which we are intertwined.
In a light of focused intention to make offering, I invite those of you who will be in town to join me for an all-levels class at Willow Street Yoga, Takoma Park, from 10:00-11:30am on Thanksgiving to celebrate the day and to share our abundance and gratitude with those in need. A tradition for me and for Willow Street and a perfect way to expand the holiday. Friends and family of all levels welcome, including teens, tweens with yoga experience, seniors and everyone else in between. All proceeds go to Oxfam.
To all of you, I wish you much spontaneous experience of gratitude. I think of all of you and send my well wishes, especially those who are facing difficult challenges.
Peace and light,