Monday, May 23, 2011

With a little help from my Friends

The Hindu Society of NC in Morrisville, NC
where John Friend workshops

The first time I took a workshop with John Friend was in North Carolina in the fall of 2007. It was a lovely lovely event filled with lovely lovely people. I so enjoyed being in the Kula there. They are wonderfully sweet.
The first time we came to sit with John he talked about things like "The Secret" which was becoming more popular then, and the laws of Attraction, Shakti, white magic, and enjoying ourselves on the mat. And, then after the invocation and blessings, he said something to the effect of "Let's get high."
"Let's get high" I thought that was so completely awesome and funny. Here's this yoga guy saying we should be getting high. And I do think he meant that we were going to catch a buzz from the backbending practice he had planned for us. And we probably did get pretty high then. The photos reveal wildly shiny faces and ear to ear grins on our faces.
But, now that I've been in this system for a longer time, I think there's more to it than just the physical experience of being "high." I think he means that we should use this practice to uplift ourselves and each other. Literally we should raise our moods and our awareness and our love, support, respect for each other as high as we can possibly get them.
At times we all get low. And if you're like me, those are the times when you're tempted to skip the practice, and skip class. But, those are the best times to actually step onto the mat, Open to Grace... and see if transformation might really take hold. I am now committing to encouraging myself in those low times to go to class. Because even if I'm feeling low, my neighbor may be on a total high that day and I can ride her wave until I feel better.
John says things to the effect of "if you're low, I'm low" and so it is our responsibility to help uplift each other. And the other thing he says which I love is that 'There will always be someone further along on this path than you, and there will always be someone further behind on this path than you.... so you reach out a hand in front and you reach out a hand behind and together we all take a step forward'.
So, yes, we use this practice to get "high" but it is in the broadest use of the term. And then everybody gets a hit to the heart, and opening into the depth of who we really are ... and the entire community benefits. What could be better?

Contemplation: How do you get your 'high' on the mat and what does it look like?

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