In an effort to deepen my practice and teaching, I'm enrolled in an advanced yoga teacher training program with 8 Limbs Yoga Centers. Every few months I gather with other teachers to delve into a particular aspect of yoga. This coming weekend the over-arching theme is Buddhism and meditation. Certainly not all yogis are Buddhists and vice versa, but there are many connections between the two practices. With this training on my mind, I stumbled across "What Does Buddhism Require" in The New York Times. If you're curious at all about some the tenants of this tradition, I recommend this overview. Two aspects of this article caught my attention, as they relate to both my yoga practice and my graduate studies:
- "The third (jewel) is the Sangha, or spiritual community, conceived sometimes as the community of other practitioners, sometimes as the community of monks and nuns, sometimes as the community of awakened beings. The project of full awakening is a collective, not an individual, venture."
- "The Buddhist tradition encourages us to see ourselves as impermanent, interdependent individuals, linked to one another and to our world through shared commitments to achieving an understanding of our lives and a reduction of suffering. It encourages us to rethink egoism and to consider an orientation to the world characterized by care and joint responsibility. That can’t be a bad thing."
The more I practice and study, the more I experience the beauty of the collective and the value of embracing the impermanence of life. Change is constant. Community, if we dare to embrace it, helps us move through our ever-shifting landscapes with grace.