Sunday, January 27, 2013

Light Through Yonder Window

Kula. At first glance, this Sanskrit word means family or community, and denotes a group that shares a common spiritual practice. In this way, kula is similar to the Christian term fellowship or the sangha of Buddhism.

However, if we open ourselves to it, this little word draws us toward a deeper reality. According to the website of West Virginia yoga teacher Randy Boyd, kula comes from another Sanskrit term, kula siddhi, which conveys the idea that, “all of the diversity of creation…is in relationship and is connected.”
Individual components, interdependent and functioning harmoniously together, create a vibrant, ever~evolving whole. An ecosystem, the human body, a beehive~~kulas all, individual strands coming together to form a much larger weave.
Humankind is a kula, also. Your actions affect me, either directly or by extension, as my actions touch you. As integral parts of a continuously unfolding whole, we remember that this is exactly as it’s supposed to be. We are all kula~mates, no matter the variations in our beliefs.
When someone behaves thoughtlessly or harshly, I can choose to feed my anger and retaliate, or I can collapse into victim mode. I can also, however, face the opportunity offered me with wisdom and curiosity. I can practice compassion, toward myself and my kula~mate and, if clear limits are needed, I can set them without rancor.
Whatever response I choose will ripple a unique path throughout this web of ours, whether or not I see the results. And as we each strengthen our resolve to act from our highest self and for the greatest good, our loving ripples mingle and morph in ways that amplify and gradually shift the whole.
“When we unite our diverse unique individual expressions of beauty and spirit,” Boyd writes, “…the expression of beauty and spirit is exponentially increased.”
We have been given a precious opportunity to learn in this earthly incarnation, and some of our most valuable teachers are those whose paths we cross in an ordinary day. What does the cashier, smiling or glum, have to teach me today? My husband? Your daughter? The angry, despairing or kind person who comes my way?
Myriad panes of uniquely colored glass in one immeasurably large window, we each reflect the same Light. It moves within us and shines out into the world. My job is to wipe clean my pane so that it reflects that Light more purely. And, if I’m wise, I’ll welcome your help in doing so.           
And, my dear kula~mates, as our glass grows ever clearer, how that Light shines!


Loanne Marie

PS. I want to share a site my sister recently linked me up to~~Gravity Glue. At first, it may not seem entirely related, except as Michael Grab is so obviously a kula~mate, but look more closely. All those stones, uniquely shaped and operating seemingly independently, coming together to create beauty. My, oh my, my! Kulas here, kulas there, kulas, kulas everywhere! 

PPS. The first comment below references the poem read at Monday's inauguration. Since for some reason comments are not able to include hyperlinks, I include the link here. You can find the poem on rosekraft's blog by clicking here. Enjoy!

PPS. Well, this is the time for links sent by readers! Marc, comment 3 below, wanted to share a beautiful song by baritone Anthony Brown that expresses the same sentiment in different words~~and with melody! Click here to find it, then scroll down near the bottom right and click on song #6, Each Other's Light. Thanks, Marc!


rosekraft said...

This post is so reminiscent of Monday's Inaugural poem by Richard Blanco - a celebration of how all our lives are inextricably bound together as we move through the world...
If you have not yet had a chance to read his poem, see the link above.

Loanne Marie said...

Yes, it is lovely, and no, I had not read it. Thank you so much for giving all who missed it the first time around another opportunity.

Marc said...

Your description and illustrations of kula deepened my appreciation of the importance of relationships in our lives — whether they are fleeting or long-term. Thank you for sharing the richness of this word!

As I was reading the column, I was reminded of a song, "Each Other's Light," written and sung by a very close friend of mine, Anthony Brown and a friend of his. I think this song is an example of the tone of your column. Tony is a baritone who travels the world to work at peace-building through song. I was with him in Ethiopia when he sang to a gathering of Muslims and Evangelicals. After he sang this song, there was a standing ovation from the whole crowd.

Loanne Marie said...

What a beautiful story~~and song! Thanks so much for sharing both with us, kula~mate.

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Leia Marie