The Spirit Rock program connected me with a “dharma buddy,” another student in the program, who I can check in with about the practice, reading assignments, and generally how things are going. Well, I lucked out! and was paired with a fantastic buddy, a woman who shares dedication and passion for yoga and meditation and also has gradually become a dear, lovely friend. At the last retreat, we ended up seated next to each other in the meditation hall for the ten days of silence, a powerful bond. And occasionally, she would come sit with me outside on one of the benches that are scattered there, a strong statement of connection within the container of silence, and we would just breathe and sit and watch our thoughts, the land and sky.
Last night, I talked to my dharma buddy for the first time in a few weeks. This post is one of appreciation for her. So much affection beyond words. Simply talking together on the phone for a half-hour gently nudged me back towards the constancy, availability and value of the practices, even and especially during hard times. Then this morning I woke up to asana for a couple hours — just a gentle morning flow of breath through the standing poses followed by some seated forward folds — and then followed with meditation. Not an unusual morning of practice, yet inspired and grounded by the connection with my buddy.
In the past months, I have found other dharma buddies, growing new friendships and affinities. Some I have been meeting through communities of practice, the sangha formed in the trainings I’ve been doing this summer. New friends who live in Washington DC, Colorado, San Jose that I can write to with teaching questions or for a little boost. There are also wonderful folks closer to home, and I so appreciate their wisdom, humor, and love. There’s something about sharing the practice that connects.
May all beings be safe, happy, healthy, and at peace. Namaste!