Tag Archive: seva

I had previously committed to volunteering at the Lantern at the same time as the demonstration at the White House against the separation, incarceration, and deportation of those seeking asylum. I left the house an hour early and got off the bus at Farragut Square instead of taking it all the way to Georgetown. Volunteers were actively coordinating and people were starting to gather.

I talked to people who were heading over as I walked on to the Lantern, and I brought the demonstration with me.


Laying Down the William Penn House Practice (Last Practice May 15)

Perhaps because it has been hosted at a place that fosters the Quaker way of doing business, but when I first tried to describe why I thought it was time to leave off having a regularly scheduled practice at William Penn House, the first phrase that came to mind, was that the practice was being “laid down.”

Very generally, much Quaker business is done by a committee consisting of members who are nominated by the meeting and willing and able to address whatever the issue that is the purpose of the committee. A committee may be formed to address a particular issue that a meeting is encountering or for general ongoing work for the life of the meeting. After a committee’s purpose is done–which may or may not be clear, depending on the nature of the issue–the meeting may choose to lay down the committee. Laying down a committee is not passing judgment. Sometimes, the committee has served its purpose well, but is no longer needed as much as the resources of the committee (it’s members) are needed elsewhere–either for the meeting or for their own personal lives.

The William Penn House group practice started over 10 years ago. Its initial purpose was to keep going a class from a studio that closed for several months. Having the practice at William Penn House was also a good way to create neighborhood, Quaker, and yoga connections, provide support for the work of William Penn House, and provide an unconventional community donation practice space.

In the years since the class was established, the whole tenor and climate of the world has changed. The neighborhood, too has changed. Among the changes, there are now several yoga studios on the Hill and there are lots of choices for a practice every night of the week without leaving the neighborhood. In the broad group that has participated in the practices, there have been graduations, marriages, births of children and grandchildren, illnesses, injuries, world travel, joys and sorrows, death, career changes, and it is time for those still in the habit of Tuesday night practice to reconfigure what and when we practice for our own good and for the great web, including together.

I will always be grateful to all the practitioners/friends who joined with me in collective exploration of the practices and to William Penn House for being a welcoming and nonjudgmental host for a really long time.

As a member of the Board of Directors and a neighbor, I will still be part of the life and practice at William Penn House. I am still offering small group and private classes in my lovely home studio. Send me a message, if you’d like to practice. I’m looking forward to scheduling practice on a more flexible basis.



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.


On My Morning Walk to Work

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 .