The Shala Turns One!
Posted by Pranidhi Varshney on Sep 15, 2016
I wanted to share some ripples that have been flowing at the shala, inspired by our weekend together.
Last weekend, we celebrated our first birthday with a led class, gratitude circle, and potluck. It was a beautiful gathering and the circle was filled with vulnerable and courageous shares, laughter, tears, and love. One of our students shared the struggle of cultivating compassion while caring for her 96 year old parents and simultaneously reveling in the joy of her young daughter. Another shared how the shala has been a respite for her over the summer after a challenging first year in college. Many students shared lessons of patience, listening, and surrender, and I shared the profound experience of witnessing my fears about motherhood wash away after seeing one of our students through her whole pregnancy and then meeting her baby. The power of community emerged as a central theme, and gratitude for having a safe space to engage in a practice that has the capacity to hold us through the breadth of human experience. The abundance of food afterward was also super joyful!
Inspired by Ari, I was thinking about ways to expand our circle of kindness and reached out to the senior center that neighbors us to see what we might be able to offer. They told us that snacks would be the best so several students made homemade treats and today we delivered them to the elders! It was a delightful experience, filled with lots of smiles. When I first approached the center, the owner was wary and asked me what I was trying to get out of it. Once he understood that we simply wanted to give a gift, his heart opened and he was very supportive. The whole staff was touched and our hearts were full as well! A small gesture that helped us get to know our community a bit better :)
Thank you to all for inspiring me, the shala, and our ever-evolving circles,