Blog by Stephanie [Loves Yoga, Invoke student, Practicing yoga & pilates 18 mos, Freelance Marketer]
Twenty-five hundred years ago, a man who was a wealthy Prince, had a wife and child and great riches but he was distraught that the world had suffering. He left everything behind to seek enlightenment. He gave up food almost entirely and all earthly goods. He would practice meditation but he soon came to realize it was a temporary escape from the problem and not a permanent solution. Near starvation, in constant prayer and living a life of solace, he felt no closer to God and not enlightened.
Buddha then realized that as a child, he looked at the grass. He recognized the perfection of that blade of grass and of the world that gave itself to him. Everything is connected. We are all in this together – plants, animals, insects, humans.
This same message of connection is echoed by instructors at Invoke downtown Indianapolis, such as the lessons I’ve learned from Ahna Hoke during her Vinyasa or Align & Flow classes: when we step in that room to practice, we are a community. We are connected. Just as we are connected with the earth we walk on, the vibrations of the sounds we here before we enter, and the birds we pass along the way. Our energy is a part of their energy and theirs a part of ours. We are accountable and have impact on perfect strangers. And the Buddha teaches that any random person walking down the street has the ability to be enlightened.
Buddha felt a sense of pure joy sitting under a tree meditating. I felt this feeling many times, especially during this past week. I travelled to the beaches of southern California, and I would walk by myself and just smile. And my smile was pure and I felt it in my soul, from the inside out. I felt joy and connection. For me, my yoga practice and the time I spend in nature, near trees, birds and the ocean help me be more present and bring me glimpses of pure joy.
From this broken world can come pure joy. We just need to connect and open our eyes to all its glory.
Disclaimer: I am just a regular woman sharing what she learned about the Buddha. I’m not a Buddhist by trade. I just recognize there are great life lessons I can learn in any walk of life. There are many “experts” on the subject of Buddha. See Dr. Google or Wiki Pedia, PhD for more info. 😉