This full moon is both the one called by some “guru purnima“–with rituals to honor the teacher–and also the relatively rare blue moon. I’ve been seeing lots of postings on social media about guru purnima by my friends who are engaged in the practice, study, and teaching of yoga. The variations in the postings about guru purnima are as wide as what the person believes is the guru–from recognition of a person who has been named a guru; to teachers, recognized as such; to simply the invocation of our own teacher within. Suggestions for ritual range from specific puja to just an invitation to think about the concept and to recognize those who have imparted wisdom to us that has enhanced our lives (even if we have to do a lot of work to know that).
I’ve never personally been called to have a guru (among other things, it is too counter to my unprogrammed Quaker upbringing). I do, though, have many teachers, some more formally serving in that role than others and I cheerfully honor them today.
I invite you to think about what it means to have teachers, i.e., to be a true student. How we might be living if we consciously interrelate with all around us, human and not, as both a student and teacher all of the time? What quality of listening and openness would that require? What might we be learning? What might we teach?
Yesterday, I had the good fortune to be able to attend a workshop with Desiree Rumbaugh at Dig Yoga.
Desiree asked what inspires our commitment to practice. For me, it is that practicing consistently helps me feel better in this embodiment and puts me into a space from which I can better face what comes. What keeps you committed to your practice, whatever that practice might be?
It was really quite beautiful when I took a break from my work computer to go outside and shovel.
My nearly 90-year old neighbor, Mrs. G., was also out shoveling, though no one else on our side of the street had made any effort either this snow or the last to clear their sidewalk.
When I was mostly finished, I went to say hello and to tell her, though we have never really socialized, how much I love and appreciate having her as a neighbor. She thanked me for saying so and said she has always tried to be a good neighbor.
I asked if I could give her a hug. She hugged me and then asked rhetorically when that had last happened. Her doctor. Before Christmas. Gave her a hug. “It’s always good to hear,” she said, “that you are appreciated.”
I offer my appreciation to you for reading and for how much so many of you enrich my life.