When we rescued a greyhound, we became part of a community of greyhound admirers. We joined 4 Greyhound Rescue's facebook family where we get to see all the great pictures rescuers post of their greyhounds. There are communities for other breeds, as well, like Collies, Labs, and Pitbulls, and there are communities that form for all sorts of interests...cycling, running, energy healing...whatever your interest, you can find a community of people that support and share your passion.
Anne Adams writes, "There is an endless net of threads throughout the universe... At every crossing of the threads there is an individual. And every individual is a crystal bead. And every crystal bead reflects Not only the light from every other crystal in the net, But also every other reflection, Throughout the entire universe."
We know yoga has a lot to do with community as the word itself means unity. Yoga unites our breath with our spirit and our mind and yoga, in itself, is a community we can turn to for shared inspiration. When the storms went through IL last week and Fairdale was hit by a tornado, I became aware of another level of community. It turns out that, in Fairdale, lives a woman named Emily. She happened to own three greyhounds, amongst other pets, and two were missing after the tornado hit and leveled her house. When a greyhound goes missing, people from the greyhound community immediately go into action. Unfortunately, the two dogs didn't make it. But a tighter community had begun to form and someone created a FB auction to help Emily and her family. People have posted so many creative and amazing things: homemade scones, dog coats, jewelry, clothes, artistic services...
Emily has written some amazing and tear raising updates about her situation. With respect to her and her privacy, I have am only quoting a couple of her comments as they are insightful lessons for us all. So, if I may quote from Emily's FB page, she wrote something I found very interesting: "At the time, I had no magnitude of what had hit us, or of the overwhelming generosity of the human spirit that was to come. Volunteers have arrived in waves, donations, hugs, kind thoughts. We've literally been bombarded with help - and there's just no way to prepare yourself for that."
She didn't say there is no way to prepare yourself for loss or for an immense storm; she said there is no way to prepare yourself for the huge community of love and support. People can and do step up with overwhelming goodness. People genuinely are givers. As this relates to your yoga practice, make an effort on your yoga mat to make sure you are providing yourself with overwhelming goodness. When the ego takes over, it is much like the tornado; it tries to sweep away your strength and positive outlook, but it cannot unless you allow it.
"The impersonal hand of government can never replace the helping hand of a neighbor." ~Hubert H. Humphrey
From Emily's most recent post, she writes:
"7 days. It's been 7 days. In the past 7 days, We've lost our house, two of our dogs, two guinea pigs, one cat, and nearly almost everything we own. In the past 7 days, I've come to realize that these *things* we have mean absolutely nothing. It's just a house. It's just a couch. It's just a book."
The sanskrit word aparigraha means non-hoarding/non-attachment. It is the principle she speaks of. When we are attached to things and they are taken, we suffer. When we are not attached and they are taken, we may be temporarily sad but we do not suffer. And there is a difference.
Things are just things. In yoga, I urge you not to become attached to poses and how you think they should look to get them "just right"; in life I urge you not to become attached to things.