CREATING COMMUNITY

I'm so delighted to say that our 1st Annual - NH Yoga Retreat at the Mountain View Grand Resort was a total blast! I was blessed to co-create and share the experience with three of my amazing friends and fellow yoga teachers, Elizabeth, Roseann and Nicole!

At the end of my Saturday afternoon class, as the four of us were looking around the room at all of the beautiful yogis relaxing in savasana, we all started to tear up. We couldn't help ourselves. It was truly magical! Over 70 yogis, from 4 different studios and 3 different states (NH, MA & RI) all gathered together for a weekend immersion of laughter, love, friendship and heart-centered community!

I think it struck us all so deeply because as studio owners and teachers one of the biggest parts of your dream and vision is to create a safe haven, a scared space where people can come together, feel at home, be at ease and see their own beauty and brilliance reflected back to them through others in their spiritual community.

As I often say in class - "Nobody else can do this work for us but we don't have to do it alone."

One of my beloved teachers Eknath Easwaran always talks about the importance of  Spiritual Fellowship. Here's part of what he has to say:

"Spiritual friends are what Buddha would have called "right companionship." Everything we do, he reminds us, either adds or subtracts from our own image as human beings. What we give our time and attention to, what we talk about, what we read about, the people we are close to - all these contribute to either a higher image of the human being or to a lower one.

Cultivate time with people whose companionship elevates you. We can seek out goodness in people. We can seek out what is noble in human character. We can look for goodness and nobility in choosing our friends, in choosing to whom to give our attention and our love. It is especially helpful to spend time regularly with others who are basing their lives on the same spiritual values. When you are trying to change your life, you need the support of others with the same goal...

It should be no surprise then that an essential part of the spiritual life is joining together with those who are spiritually minded, those who want to promote our growth and who want us to promote theirs. This should not be considered a luxury or an indulgence. The Buddha would say that most people throw themselves into the river of life and float downstream, moved here and there by the current. But the spiritual aspirant must swim upstream, against the current of habit, familiarity, and ease. 

It is an apt image. We know how the salmon fights its way along, returning at last to its original home. Those who set out to change themselves are salmon swimming against the relentless flow of the selfish life. Truly, we need every bit of support we can get; we need friends, loyal companions on the journey. We have to do the swimming, of course; nobody else can do it for us. But there will be an easier and swifter passage if we can swim with those who encourage us, who set a strong pace and will not stop until they reach their destination. The burdens are shared, easing them; the joys are shared too, multiplying them.

In Sanskrit, this sharing is called satsang. The word derives from two smaller words: sat, meaning "the good" or "truth" or "reality," and sanga, meaning "group" or "association." Thus it signifies the seekers of the highest, banded together."

And this is exactly what we did at our retreat! We all banded together - we supported and celebrated one another, practiced and laughed together and I believe felt a genuine connection from heart to heart ~ Spirit to Spirit.

This month as we celebrate Thanksgiving,  I want you all to know just how much I appreciate and adore all of YOU! Thank you for being a part of my community for all these years. And if you're new to our community - welcome, welcome!! It's because of you beautiful beings that I get to share what I love and live my dreams. I'm deeply grateful, honored and blessed to experience this journey with all of you!