Over the years here, now fourteen years, I have witnessed so much generosity and kindness within the community of folks who spend time here. Informally and spontaneously folks reach out to support one another. I am certain that the nature of our practices shared here, whether yoga or mindfulness practice or otherwise, echo forward through our daily lives with a quality of genuine compassion. Simple moments here witness this, ongoing.
Over and over students have volunteered to supplement my efforts to offer scholarships and help pay the tuition for someone with limited means. Once, at new student had an disabling epileptic seizure in class and while I comforted her, two students volunteered to take her home. Students have passed on with the kind acknowledging and genuine grieving of others here. Many students give birth and proudly bring their new ones here to share their joy. If someone has missed class for a few weeks and we know they aren’t well I’ll call them on speakerphone at the beginning of class to simply have all of us say “We love you” with a big shout. Generous and heart-felt conversation and sharing flow across the moments before and after each class.
One of the most visible and beautiful recent contributions to the life and work here is the street sign one of my students, Bill with his dear wife Carol in the photo, offered to create; beautifully framed and hand-assembled cherry-wood like fine furniture. In some ways it is emblematic of transitions we endure and can offer beauty toward; the acknowledgement of aging and maturity embodied in our practice and then brought back to life in transition in that beautiful sign; a sweet metaphor. Note that transition from old to new in this other picture. Me, the aging, with the frail 14 year-old sign, and my dear niece born about the time of that first sign’s creation and standing with the new, freshly created sign.
Many years ago one of my students came in to offer a beautiful, hand-made vase that has adorned the shelf near to front door downstairs since then. Over a dozen seasons of flowers have found a home in that vase to share their beauty with folks in the classroom.
Another beautiful embodiment of the kindnesses received here is a hand-painted wall hanging the a student, near retirement and would soon move, offered as a gift to the folks here. It now occupies the foyer upstairs.
Students continue to offer their kind presence and simple acts of generosity find their way; poetry, post cards while traveling, heart- rocks place in sweet corners of the classrooms, letters from students long-gone after a move but still close to heart and thankful for time spent in classes here.
Acknowledging here in classes and among folks nearby the transitions in life and how our practices, yoga and mindfulness, can be helpful as we meet one another in those transitions; birth, aging, passing on, creativity, compassion, sharing and much more.
Kindest Regards — Brant