Students of both Ayurveda and Yoga will have studied, at least a little bit, the Shad Darshan. Shad means six, and this case, the darshans are ways of seeing, or philosophies. The thing to remember about philosophies on life is that none of them are “right” or “wrong” but maybe they are helpful in our quest to understand reality, or to make sense of the human experience somehow. It is this quest, in my own life, that fuels my study of Ayurveda and yoga. What interests me most in the past year or two is how the study and practice of these systems begins to change one’s point of view. I struggle to explain it, but I can say that I understand things about yoga and Ayurveda now, because I feel them. Maybe it just takes so many years before this starts to happen, its as though the practice opens the channels for the feeling, and then the information one might read in the classics means something, makes sense.
The word darshan pops up a lot while visiting Hindu temples. To have “darshan of Vishnu” for example, means you made it into the temple, close enough to make out the eyes of the statue. The eyes are sometimes jeweled, or painted brightly. The root of the word drsh (like Drishti, for the ashtangis) means to view. The sight of a deity in temple goes two ways: one sees holiness, and is seen by it. Like the relationship between a yoga teacher and student, or an Ayurveda practitioner and a client, there is the activity of being seen, as well as beholding. It is a holy thing. yoga and Ayurveda provide opportunities in my life on a daily basis to share this holiness. There is in being seen, and seeing simultaneously, a moment of absolute presence and significance. It’s the cosmic “here we are!” moment.
The direction I would like to go as a student and teacher is more of these moments, for everyone. Through the programs I’m designing this year, a combination of in-person and online activity, I intend to create community and opportunity to experience darshan of Ayurveda and yoga. To teach and to learn together in a way that changes us. With study and practice, evolution of the self is inescapable.
Social Media and Sattva
This summer, I took a sabbatical and I see even more clearly how the way of the social media keeps getting more demanding of those who rely on it to make a living. The amount of information and marketing out there is staggering. I don’t like to think of my peeps wading through daily feeds and seeing a glimpse of what I’m up to. A far cry from darshan! What I do like is to let you all know where and when and what, so we continue to connect with one another. But what I would like to change about how it’s working, is to send a quality newsletter- and know that my peeps will see it. I’d like to give you the opportunity to connect with me, my whens and wheres, and also my current contemplations on the sister sciences, without having to troll for it. In that effect, I will be upping my newsletter to monthly, and will try to keep it short. You can expect an original recipe, probably something I’m messing around with in my own kitchen, a deep thought or two, and of course announcements about upcoming events and things like my next project, The Sattvic Living Institute. I’ll be releasing information and opportunities a little at a time over the next year or so. Please stay connected by signing up for my newsletter.
In the November newsletter, I’ll be launching an experiment in keeping you all in touch with each other, to have a place where you know you are not the only one in your sphere working the yoga and Ayurveda…a place to be uplifted and inspired by your community, your peers, when you need it most and a place to share your wins and helpful hints with people who you know will appreciate it. We unveil a private space for all Everyday Ayurveda Cookbook enthusiasts, for past cleansers, Boston Ayurveda School grads, and (hopefully) for you, in a closed facebook group Sacred Cyberspace. I do hope to make this a sacred cyberspace. Until such time as we find a place that is more sattvic than Facebook, we are going to house it there. However, I want to be clear about our intentional use of social media here. We want to connect you to each other. You can inspire each other simply by sharing what you are already doing, the ways that you have already made Ayurveda part of your life. Sharing your questions and your kitchen messes can create profound community. I know, because you inspire me. I see what you are doing and I am inspired. In this group we are not constantly producing new content to market ourselves to the world of social media’s evolving trends for attention.
Stay tuned for the link to the Sacred Cyberspace for Everyday Ayurveda closed facebook group.