Relationship & Community: the inner & the outer

Whether we are naturally introverted or not there is in all of us a craving for community. Just like there exists in all of us the desire to be happy. In my lifetime I have established myself in communities from all walks of life. I crave this connection: with my childhood friends, with family, with the people in my neighbourhood, the people who I studied with, travelled with, lived with, the parents of my childrens' friends, the friends of my parents' children, my partners' friends, his family, the list goes on and on.

This reaching out for community takes place parallel to our practice of connecting internally; both are the practice of yoga. Both are one.

Just as important as our approach to life is our approach to yoga. Do we practice for our individual improvement alone? Progressive steps toward enlightenment take place alongside a wider view of our existence. We are not isolated beings; as we progress spiritually it is necessary to cast the net wider, to connect to more other beings, to recognize that not just in theory but especially in reality: we are one. 

It saddens me to come across divisive behaviours, perhaps more than anywhere in the "yoga world" where approaches to practice have become at times competitive rather than complementary. It seems to show that the deeper work has yet to be done.  The nitty gritty of relating to others, whether we feel challenged by them or not. Recognition of our aversions, our attachments. Coming back to our inner response to the outer manifestations of reality through relationship. I can think of nothing more valuable in this day and age.

On retreat we are given this beautiful shared landscape, practicalities are taken care of and the gateways are opened to communication and spiritual communion. We recognize that we are all the same, we have the same mental chatter, thoughts that distract us, feelings comfortable & uncomfortable. We have physical differences but are the same in having physical differences. We open up to change, we open up to transformation and we do it together.

Support cannot be overestimated, seek support in your life and to be support. Give and receive generously. Go inside, go deep inside and go outside, way outside, to where you did not think you could possibly reach. Let us tell each other what we find...and then fall silent.