The Beatles lyrics;
The sun is up, the sky is blue it’s beautiful and so are you
are running through my head and that tells me I’m done with matters outside my yoga domain for now. I have a waning interest.
But there is something worth noting I think, because the word socialism went off in my own head as I read Elephant Journal’s interview with John Friend’s once mentor Dr. Douglas Brooks.
The interview with Dr. Brooks is underlined here. Read it before you go on as it’s not my intention to analyze this protracted monologue. I will admit that I read it quickly.
The greater Anusara community is not a bunch of Divinity School PhD’s. They are largely a youthful and active group of people who want to be happy, who want to feel good and want community. I suspect an intellectualizing of what Tantra (the underpinning of their practice) means beyond embrace life fully and gracefully probably isn’t any more paramount right now than a bunch of Rabbis arguing a Talmudic interpretation of how to wear a prayer shawl while the people of Israel try to discern the right policies for the nation.
As students find their community in disarray they want to feel comfortable in that community again. The students deserve a thorough education of the heritage they have chosen but I’m guessing that this is probably not a safety net at the moment.
Anusara the community is an interesting albeit tiny and simplistic template for society at large. Are the Anusara problems a symptom of the disease of this country? What distracts people from digging deep into the communities they choose? It’s been revealed in national politics that much of the public finds intellectualism alienating and much of the public finds dogma alienating and the two appear disparate to me.
John Friend had a corrosive effect on his yoga community who by their simple desires, passivity, ignorance and insecurity, enabled him to follow a typically corporate model in which his private interests seemed to dictate behavior that didn’t serve the whole in the way they expected.
While I’m more concerned that members of our national electorate will consider appointing a President who does not believe in birth control than I am about the Anusara community and while I think the problems of a yoga community are diminutive, I am drawing parallels.
Many of us refuse to participate in daily politics and even elections. We don’t want to pay attention and dismiss this stuff as distraction. We have lives to lead and we are in the moment. We might feel like our leaders are lacking but we don’t think it has much bearing on our day to day. Anyway, they are big, we are small; what can we do? We just want to be happy. We find solace in faith, community in church; we educate ourselves to have jobs. We meet trouble at our doorstep. Who has time for more?
We inhabit a capitalistic democracy that is making its way toward ruination of the planet and its inhabitants despite the efforts of intelligent and earnest people. A small group of people in power, allowed by many of us who are giving away our power in exchange for daily peace are taking us down.
The leaders of Anusara are taking down John Friend and it seems they are establishing another sort of government that sounds vaguely Socialist. That would be a radical shift.
It may be an interesting trial and material for discussion on who we are and what could be accomplished by a cooperative collective. The Occupy Movement has initiated that but it is a fragmented and fairly powerless model so we don’t know how a country reinvented under an Occupy ideal would look.
Of course a yoga community is distinctive as a group that plays in the ether. Yogis train not to fear the vagueness of light, to trust that the expanse of physical parameters can fall into that light and not disappear. One must be careful what they are falling into. It’s easier to define shadow. Light has no form.
A shadow is beautiful too. There is learning in the looking. Notice the shadow, then you know how to proceed. Notice the shadow.