Are meaningless without engaged conversation and action. In yoga practice terms, if you’re living in and enjoying the world, practice includes service and giving. Prayer alone is for those who live naked in a cave subsisting on alms.
I took leave in the middle of the day in between working for several hours at home and going into the office for a semi-obligatory office party. It was cold, but it was good people were out. One citizen speaker talked about how she is finding her voice and learning to raise it. Her child needs medical care.
Today, instead of going with the group to visit a Hanuman temple a couple of valleys away (which entailed at least two hours each way of hairpin turns and going through a construction zone so dusty tying a t-shirt or scarf around my head would be necessary and having almost no opportunity to take care of biological needs), I chose to stay back. I honored the spirit of Hanuman with seva in the form of a morning helping tend the grounds.
In the afternoon I will walk into the village with two others who are in residence here. One a Canadian Indian who is a Kabir scholar, the other a Dutch woman who has been spending a month or two every year for the past decade.
There is a Siva festival going on. It is loud even up here on the hill. I will have my earplugs.
I am appreciating getting to connect to the space and the people who live and serve here in a way that I could not when surrounded by the rest of the group. It was very grounding for me, too, to spend a few hours gardening.
I had a long work day, followed by a Board meeting. One of the best aspects of my daily routine, given I am walking distance to work and volunteer commitments, is that I have the opportunity to enjoy things and appreciate the seasons just getting from one place to the next, no matter how full my day is otherwise .
Some of the yoga traditions that include a guru lineage believe that a guru can transmit grace (whatever that might mean) through their presence or touch. Back in the days when I was doing my first yoga teacher training, a fellow student asked me whether I had ever received shaktipat? My answer was yes–when I’d had the opportunity to shake hands with William Brennan. He’s not a guru, my fellow student objected. But he is a being of extraordinary grace, power, and intelligence who has devoted himself to the service of our collective well-being and my being in his presence inspires me to show my best light; isn’t that what’s supposed to happen with shaktipat? I don’t think she was ever fully persuaded by my unorthodox reading, but I had no need to persuade.
I found myself thinking about that discussion today, having gotten to shake John Lewis’s hand when he walked through the crowd to speak at day 2 of the people’s filibuster for health care. In the presence of his inspiration, I am compelled to figure out what more can I be doing.