I have a great deal to catch you up on, dear readers, including my first experience of teaching a yoga class on Mahāśivarātri, March 10, at Sangha Yoga Collective in Lowell, where I teach sociology at the University.
As I was going over my notes to complete some homework for my teacher training yesterday, in my journal I came across some notes I had made while reading William K. Mahony’s Exquisite Love, a reflection on the Nāradā Bhakti Sūtras. In particular, Sūtra 50 asserts this about the devotee or “bhakta.”
sa tarati sa tarati lokāṁs–tārāyati
[The bhakta] crosses [the torrent], [the bhakta] crosses [the torrent]. [The bhakta] helps all in the world to cross.
I think of all my dear colleagues in this enterprise of teaching yoga, or just generally people trying to follow a spiritual path. Life presents all of us with innumerable challenges, and the path of the householder is not to retreat from these, but to engage them wholeheartedly.
In the meantime, it is incumbent upon those of us who have crossed any particular torrent to share—for the root of the word bhakti in Sanskrit goes back to “sharing” of the essential nature of all things—to do so. If we have been blessed with any measure of the three qualities we are in my teacher training enjoined to cultivate: soft heart, sharp mind, and vibrant body, it is especially incumbent upon us to share, in this case to teach. As I begin the first weekend of the third module of teacher training, I feel this call to share particularly keenly. I have been presented with challenges in my life, and while I am not now feeling that particularly keenly, I will again. Those for whom I hold space now, will then do the same for me.