What an awesome Saturday.
Prospect Park, Brooklyn. On June 1st, a group of New York karma yogis came together for 108 for Peace, to raise awareness about family violence, and to raise funds for STEPS, a local nonprofit working on the front lines in counseling and prevention.
On the path of Karma Yoga, in order to re-calibrate the cycles of samsara, yogis do good work – the same goes for re-calibrating the cycles of violence. But how to stop a cycle that seems so much bigger than ourselves, individually? If we can begin to think in peace, speak in peace and act in peace, we transforms ourselves. The ripple effect of this personal evolution can transform whole communities, local and global.
Offering the 108 sun salutations has a unique effect on everyone. For some it felt like a form of cleansing; the repetitive movements acting as a form of catharsis, with memories and emotions surfacing in unexpected ways. Other participants noted the meditative quality of the offering, an opportunity to hone focus and patience.
I’m so grateful for my friends and fellow yogis on the path who showed up early, smiley, and open to the experience, for the wonderful gourd sound system provided, for the helping hands (and cameras!), for the hugs, for shared yummies afterward, and for meeting a few new sisters in solidarity who are looking to launch their own 108 ceremonies in future.
That’s what sangha is all about.
The word as I know it originally referred to a community of people (often monks) dedicated to the Buddhist path; it’s come to be used in modern yogi culture as a more general term for community. And with a strong community, anything is possible.