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whatmatters

First, thank you, thank you to last week’s yogis.  Donations went to the Red Cross for disaster relief in the Philippines.

There will be two more Thursday night yoga classes this year before I head into the depths of the cave for hibernation.  See dates and details below.

 Thursday, November 21 @ 7:00 p.m. This is a pay-what-you-can donations class with 100% of the proceeds going to the Memphis Union Mission.  $50.10 will provide 30 Thanksgiving meals for those seeking food and shelter at the mission.  If you have gently used coats to spare, donate those too as they are currently having a coat drive.

Thursday, December 5 @ 7:00 p.m.  This is a pay-what-you-can donations class with 100% of the proceeds going to Church Health Center.

Both classes are in my cave, fireside.  Expect a slow, restorative practice focused on relaxation

For more information e-mail valetar@aol.com

Thank you, thank you, thank you to all who participated in Yoga for Water!

 

Why water?  Here’s a little video to explain…


Together we raised $104!

If you couldn’t make it to yoga, you can still help the students of Drummonds Elementary meet their goal of raising $1000 by July. Contribute here:  http://my.charitywater.org/DESgives

may 27 2013 026

True love is inexhaustible; the more you give, the more you have. And if you go to draw at the true fountainhead, the more water you draw, the more abundant is its flow.

–Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Today I am thinking about water.

Throughout the rainy month of May we collected rain water in barrels for the flowers, vegetables, and ducks. Last summer I

flowers 025

just turned on the waterhose or sprinkler and went on about my air-conditioned business inside the house, usually forgetting I left the water running or  that I even had flowers.

With the rain barrels I have to physically walk the water around the yard to give each plant a drink. Oddly, this seems like less of a chore than turning on the water hose.  For one thing, it forces me to spend more time outside actually looking at the flowers and appreciating them.  It’s certainly friendlier than shooting at them from a distance with the hose’s handheld nozzle like they’re zombies I’m trying to keep at bay.

With the watering can it’s all intimate. We get upclose and personal; we talk.

We have had little rain this month.  The hot air is perfumed with sun-baked roses. The waterbarrels are empty.  When El-D suggested we start getting water from the pond for the garden I looked at him like he’d grown two heads.  Dude, that pond is WAY back there and our flowers and vegetables are WAY up here, and-and-AND we DO have running water!

But it made me stop to think….

What if we didn’t?

june 6 026

There are plenty of people who don’t.

Fortunately, I have people in my life who remind me on a regular basis to keep my over-priviledged head on straight, like my friend Amy, who is a teacher-from-the-heart.  Every year her school does a “World Tour” during which each class studies a country.  They make displays and put on performances to share what they learned. Her class studies Kenya every year.  This year they watched a video about the life of a young Maasai boy.  Her students are always struck by the fact that his mother and sisters have to walk every day to get water from the same water hole the animals use.

This year they decided to do something about it.
 
Their school is fundraising through Charity: Water to try to get clean water to developing countries. Their goal is to raise $1000 by July 29.  The link below shows the school’s progress to date.  There is also a video at the bottom of the page that will give you more information about the water crisis.
 
 
Please donate if you love water!
 
We’ll have a donations-based yoga class next Monday evening for all who want to contribute both to your health and to that of others.
 
yoga-waterforyoga

This is a repost from October 6, 2010.  This needs to be where I can find it because I need the reminder. 

————————————————————————————————

I am in good health. I have a stable job. I have a loving family and a supportive network of friends. I have good food and more than ample shelter. I have leisure time.  I live in a country of great wealth. I enjoy freedoms and liberties that others in this world do not. I am well educated. I have the ability to communicate, to walk, to run, to dance. My life overflows with an abundance of blessings great and small.

Yet when confronted with your need, I am still so selfish, so arrogant.  I judge myself as somehow better than you.  I tell myself, “I have made better decisions than you. I am more determined, more motivated.  I work harder. And I give you so much already.  So…why can’t you work harder? We share so many of these same blessings. Why do you squander yours? Why do you make excuses? Why do you waste your time? Why do I need to give up my rightful earnings for you? What have you given me?”

I will help you, yes, because that is what a decent, responsible person does.  But, oh, how I will resent giving away this piece of what’s mine! It makes me downright angry. 

How easy it is to pretend that I am somehow deserving of my many blessings. 

And then Luke reminds me:

To whom much is given, much is required.

And Dorothy’s word’s ring out:

Love in action is harsh and dreadful when compared to love in dreams.

And Thomas says:

Peace begins when the hungry are fed.

Anger is an acid

that can do more harm to the vessel in which it stands

than to anything on which it is poured.

In the struggle rewards are few. 

In the fact, I know of only two,

loving friends and living dreams. 

These rewards are not so few it seems.

Peace is the work of justice indirectly,

in so far as justice removes the obstacles to peace;

but it is the work of charity (love) directly, since charity,

 according to its very notion causes peace.

And Frederick shares his perspective:

Your life and my life flow into each other as wave flows into wave,

and unless there is peace and joy and freedom for you,

there can be no real peace or joy or freedom for me.

To see reality

–not as we expect it to be but as it is—

is to see that unless we live for each other

and in and through each other,

 we do not really live very satisfactorily;

that there can really be life only where there really is,

in just this sense, love.

And finally the message from my teachers sinks in this thick skull of mine. I am not as bright as I sometimes think I am. My blessings are undeserved. These gifts must be shared, not begrudgingly, but with a glad heart.  That is love in action.  And I am slowly learning: if charity doesn’t hurt, I’m not doing it right. The sacrifice that burns also purifies.

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