“No creature can live without joy, and every single moment of life is an active-seeking of a greater joy. If this motive force is removed from life, the entire existence tumbles down and permanently comes to a halt. The movement of life is continued and kept up by the dynamism of this joy-hunting “.
—THE TAITTRIRYA, UPANISHAD
As my teacher would share, “none can breathe on the face of the globe and continue to live if the source of all joy was not there in his heart.” That all joys we gain in the world are flashes of the brilliance of the True Self. When the mental agitations are calmed through the fleeting enjoyment of the sense objects.
When the activities of the mind can come into a stable state of balance, these experiences open the container to the inner qualities of calm, peacefulness, and contentment. This pure essence of our nature is revealed in the experience, which allows for the possibility. A living experience of feeling the expansion in our collective hearts. Humanity is kind, gentle, and forgiving. Accept being human with the vulnerability of loving the divine within us so deeply.
I am not speaking of the attachment to the ego mind’s need for pleasure nor the resistance to what it does not like. I am not speaking of the need to get, strive, or grasp at “happiness” but the profound falling in love with that which is not tangible nor visible. The depth of this all-pervasive quality of love is the stable support of being able to rest that roaming mind in that which is greater than any material-changing world.
It takes great effort to move into a consistent practice and experience the effortless ease of being present to the Self. To be fearless in shifting the patterns of doubt, worry and anger and bring light into the heart of this truth. We are this sweetness of loving, compassionate kindness in our intrinsic nature. How wonderful to desire this truth which is healing and sustaining!
My favorite teacher, Joseph Campbell, whom I have embraced for years, would say that “life is the joyful participation in the sorrows of the world:”
To be able to sustain a loving mind in the midst of perpetual obstacles where fear and anger are so prevalent.
To be able to sit in my own sadness and grief and sustain my contentment to be alive.
To be grateful that I am able to willing be of service in love.
To share the tools of my years of practice, not for my need to be seen, but in the co-creation with the Great Source.
To understand that I am more than my little mind’s need to control the constant thoughts.
To release the tension of gripping and resisting the constant fluctuation of my mind.
To maintain the stillness as I allow the witness to just observe the flow of this panic sensitivity.
To desire to live fully in the trust that humanity is healing as we witness the destruction of the old patterns and move forward through the heart.
I know for many, this sounds so “Pollyanna” and naive. It takes a great desire to move away from all the habits of the mind wanting just to fix the outer world. Changing the attention of the mind from the sensory to bringing the intention with attention inwards becomes the path of yoga. It takes courage to shift the habits of a learned mind.
I always say, “I go kicking and screaming into my life.” I would never be teaching if my little mind was the boss! I am always humbled by the ardent effort of being at Yoga Among Friends daily for the past 25 years. I am always the student as I share these words.
We are celebrating the journey.
For 25 years, it has been a path of joy and at times deep sorrow. The roots need to be watered everyday, and we must share the fruit. We are grateful to be partnering (and sharing the fruit) with Sangha Space, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit volunteer-run organization which supports mental health initiatives through community enrichment programs. Sangha Space develops, implements, and provides community-based art and yoga programming while giving opportunities for equal access to these programs that enrich the mind + body connection.
Earth Day seems like a great day to throw a party and bring the Yoga Among Friends community together to celebrate our 25 YEARS of YOGA AMONG FRIENDS IN DOWNERS GROVE!
Join us Saturday, April 22nd, from 6-9pm. At this family-friendly event, there will be live music by the Chicken Dolphin band, a community potluck, and raffle/auction items to bid on, sponsored by Sangha Space.
In addition, I’ll be teaching 2 special community classes in celebration of our anniversary:
Friday, April 21, 9:30-10:45am, 25th Anniversary Community Class–Studio & Zoom. This is my regular Friday Vinyasa Flow class that I am gifting.
Sunday, April 23, 11am-12:15pm, 25th Anniversary Community Class–Studio & Zoom. This class will be a gentle asana practice leading into meditation.
These classes are free to the public, but you must register online in advance; no drop-ins. With our limited studio space, we kindly ask that you only register for one class so that others can attend.
These special events are our way of saying “thank you” and showing appreciation for the vast community that has helped sustain our commitment to healing and thriving over the past 25 years. In a world struggling to seek balance, we are forever grateful for the loving community we have created. Joy is an inside job, and nature sustains the entire system in purifying the patterns of worry, doubt, and fear. Let us continue moving forward and welcome in the love of living our yoga, JOYOUSLY.
Read more about our 25th Anniversary Weekend Celebration
With love and light,
*All proceeds from the raffle, auction and 50/50 split-the-pot will benefit Sangha Space’s community scholarships for programming at Yoga Among Friends
*Sangha Space, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit volunteer-run organization, develops and implements community-based art and yoga programming while giving opportunities for equal access to programs that enrich the mind + body connection. They are committed to nourishing and integrating into the communities in which they serve and to providing programming free to all participants. Sangha Space believes these opportunities provide an alternative path for children & families to learn, care & nurture themselves for a lifetime. Sangha Space is currently housed out of two locations (Chicago, IL and Downers Grove, IL) with planned expansion in 2024.