For Mysore Oakland, November 2017
At Mysore Oakland, we are blessed with community, warmth, and doors that open and close to hold us as we dig deeper each day into the heart of our selves.
Over a decade now, the majority of my practice time has been alone, often in cold spaces, carpeted floors, cramped and way to early in the day. While this independance may be at the heart of practice (commitment even beyond the perfect conditions), there is no reason to forgo the blessings in our lives, especially if our practice helps us to serve others even in the smallest of ways.
There has been great learning for me in the commitment of daily practice, as I found that after a while, commitment became devotion. These are different things, one leading to the next.
Whereas commitment tends to comes from rigidity, boundaries and rules (more "no" than "yes"), devotion is closer to an act of love, of faith, of courage: a "yes" to our paths, or lives, our beloved in material or divine form(s).
Commitment can become devotion, but it usually takes plenty of time, effort, discipline and perhaps discipleship; meeting a practice on its own terms, and finding what we love within it along the way. Among the messy grit and moments of grace in all of it, we may find the seeds of devotion that sprout into a life-long practice, and perhaps the budding fruits of yoga.
So I hope we can continue to inspire each other to be committed, and to cultivate devotion to our spiritual paths, to community, and to all of the visible and invisible relationships around us, until the boundaries between those get blurry and we just practice, with devotion.