It was very difficult to choose a final theme to teach at Living Yoga today. I was cognizant of the fact that it was not a final theme, because there will be many more to come but one that closes the last chapter on the space we've been accustomed to practicing our yoga at for the past 7-8 years. I decided not to go the sentimental route, because we already had to have a box of tissues in the middle of the room during Wednesday's class! But then, on a website entitled "The Best Inspirational Stories" I found the one I am about to share with you. It's awful! It's so awful I thought it would either bring more tears to your eyes for a different reason or make you feel a whole lot better!! I thought it might be so depressing it could make you laugh! And what's better than a yoga class filled with laughter, tears and friends??
There's a Native American proverb that says, "Tell me a fact and I’ll learn. Tell me a truth and I’ll believe. But tell me a story and it will live in my heart forever."
Here it goes:
The Mouse Trap
"A mouse looked through the crack in the wall to see the farmer and his wife open a package. "What food might this contain?" the mouse wondered. He was devastated to discover it was a mousetrap.
Retreating to the farmyard, the mouse proclaimed the warning: "There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!"
The chicken clucked and scratched, raised her head and said "Mr. Mouse, I can tell this is a grave concern to you, but it is of no consequence to me. I cannot be bothered by it."
The mouse turned to the pig and told him "There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!" The pig sympathized, but said "I am so very sorry, Mr. Mouse, but there is nothing I can do about it but pray. Be assured you are in my prayers."
The mouse turned to the cow and said "There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!" The cow said "Wow, Mr. Mouse. I'm sorry for you, but it's no skin off my nose."
So, the mouse returned to the house, head down and dejected, to face the farmer's mousetrap alone.
That very night a sound was heard throughout the house - like the sound of a mousetrap catching its prey. The farmer's wife rushed to see what was caught. In the darkness, she did not see it was a venomous snake whose tail the trap had caught. The snake bit the farmer's wife. The farmer rushed her to the hospital and she returned home with a fever.
Everyone knows you treat a fever with fresh chicken soup, so the farmer took his hatchet to the farmyard for the soup's main ingredient. But his wife's sickness continued, so friends and neighbors came to sit with her around the clock. To feed them, the farmer butchered the pig. The farmer's wife did not get well; she died. So many people came for her funeral, the farmer had the cow slaughtered to provide enough meat for all of them.
The mouse looked upon it all from his crack in the wall with great sadness. "
I then left space for a dramatic pause because this was actually how the story ended! But, of course, there was a moral. It was written as such:
"So, the next time you hear someone is facing a problem and think it doesn't concern you, remember: when one of us is threatened, we are all at risk. We are all involved in this journey called life. We must keep an eye out for one another and make an extra effort to encourage one another. Each of us is a vital thread in another person's tapestry."
It was the last line that caught my attention. Every one of us who has ever been to Living Yoga at least once has played a part in weaving an amazing yogic tapestry. This chakra colored tapestry has woven in friends and romances; pregnant Goddesses have graced our space and their unborn babies have heard us sing Shanti. Everyone's role is significant; we even lovingly glance upon Tony's melted chocolate fingerprints on the tapestry corners!
Because I have so much gratitude and love for all of you and because I did not want to make anyone cry and because I wanted to keep with the theme, I wrote you all the most awful cheesy poem in hopes of garnering a laugh. Here goes:
The Last Theme
gratitude, oh gratitude
we've covered this before
when we offer thanks out loud
we don't need to say much more.
Like attracts like
and our voices are heard
we keep on receiving
these lines are not blurred.
Take a milkshake for instance
a tastebud's delight
a brain freezy sensation
that makes the belt tight
The Universe steps in
you liked that? it will query
you're surrounded by dairy!
I'm keeping this light
I'm keeping this silly
emotions for all
are up and down hilly.
But to the people I've met
and the friendships I've made
I'm grateful so thankful
that with me you've stayed.
Every comment to themes
every tear on the mat
every venting, even farting,
you have shared all of that.
Though from mat I have led you
you have all truly led me
and that is how yogi
guru's should be.
A guru creates a path
from darkness into light
and though this studio fades to black
our inner gleam will stay bright.
In Wednesday's class, we chanted a powerful mantra that is said to stop negative thoughts as they enter the mind and immediately turn them into positive thoughts. This mantra is one of the most revered and sacred chants and should be spoken only after having already created a space of sacred energy. One such way to create this space is by chanting the Mul Mantra.
I have always been fascinated by the Mul Mantra and am equally inspired by its meaning; it is a mantra honoring creation and creation's Creator and reminds us that when all religions ultimately realize they are praying to the same source, there will be a newfound sense of peace and love for all.
The amazing mantra we chanted in class was "Ek Ong Kar Sat Gur Prasad”. Beacause the negative thoughts immediately flip to the positive, this mantra "flips" when spoken as well. “Ek Ong Kar Sat Gur Prasad, Sat Gur Prasad Ek Ong Kar.”
...which translates as a blessing to the One Creator of all creation.