The Benedictine monk Brother David Steindl-Rast says that gratefulness springs from a sense of belonging. We can only feel connected with something, or someone, that we appreciate. In Sanskrit, the language of Yoga, this connection between people, the environment, and the universe is called a sangha.
Thich Nhat Hanh says, “A sangha is a community of friends practicing the dharma together in order to bring about and to maintain awareness. The essence of a sangha is awareness, understanding, acceptance, harmony and love… when you find these elements are present in a community, you know that you have the happiness and fortune of being in a real sangha.”
As is the case for the entire planet, this year has been a test of our Yoga4All sangha. We’ve had to be forgiving, innovative, courageous, curious, flexible, and supportive. And for all of this, we are truly grateful for you, our sangha. In times of difficulty it’s extremely hard to feel grateful for anything. It reminds me of an old story about a traveler who comes upon an elderly man seated on a bench outside the entrance to a city. The traveler asks him, ‘What is this town ahead like?”
The elderly man replied, “First, tell me about the last town you visited.”
“It was awful,” replied the traveler. “The people were unfriendly, the food was horrible, the weather was bad.”
“Well,” said the man, “this next town will probably be about the same.” The traveler went gloomily on his way.
The next day another traveler walked by the same old man seated on the bench and asked about the village ahead. The elderly man again asked about the last town she visited. This time the traveler responded, “Oh, it was lovely! The sunsets were beautiful, the people were fascinating, there were so many interesting places to visit.”
The elderly man then replied, “The town ahead will most likely be the same as your last.” The traveler went happily on her way.
We can honestly say our sangha here at Yoga4All has made our “travels” in 2020 full of (as Thich Nhat Hanh described) “awareness, understanding, acceptance, harmony and love”. So as we look ahead into the unknown and unpredictable future, we know we can rely on our Y4A sangha, and we hope you feel the same. Thank you for continuing to trust our teachers and therapists with your mental and physical health. We are grateful beyond measure.