Updated: Jan 6
Another Lens for "Virtual Class Exhaustion"
The Case for Cyber Sangha, Part I:
The first in a series on relationship to the virtual world.
Recently, I’ve been in a few conversations about our relationship to technology. Mainly, the one with our monitors or screens. The way we in which utilize, rely upon, space out/space in, abhor, and occasionally feel gratitude for THE SCREEN!
Clearly, this is not a new conversation in contemporary society…
What is NEW is Our world.
Each and Every Day.
Pandemic or not.
Uprising or not.
Racial injustice or not.
The Newness surrounds us.
This prolonged period of sustained uncertainty we are living in is really at the front and center right now. It’s pretty impossible to ignore—it’s right there—and it’s not new.
As I listen, I hear the expressions of many for their longing to be in a studio and be in a live class. Going back to class would feel like things are “getting back to normal”, but we must consider the holistic approach to the sangha.
We are creators of habit, and we like patterns...
Driving to a studio for practice is lovely.
The external experience of going to another space, receiving instruction from another human, taking the direction from a teacher, and to thank one's self for showing up after an OM is chanted with hands in front of the heart.
Showing up for ourselves, we can feel very affirmed when we've physically gone to a studio.
A beautiful habit transformed into an inspired ritual, indeed!
Changing Lens Focus
Going to a studio has never replaced the space and time we make for ourselves in between the medicine of coming together in sangha.
It doesn't replace the brave love required on a regular basis to take up space inside ourselves to be whole.
Studio space is wonderful, but the space you continue to cultivate and tend to inside YOU is the most important space you can nourish.
Rituals and habits change all the time, pandemic or not.
They are the richest and most meaningful when they tap into what we need at that moment, on that particular day, not simply the laundry list gently resting on top of the nightstand.
Clinging to the list or clinging to the hope of in-person class can put a carefully crafted ritual at risk of returning to just a habit. The magic of meditation can become as transactional as going to the grocery store or brushing teeth.
The "new normal" calls us to examine this relationship to our habits. The new normal gives us a chance to re-examine and seek out new rituals that nourish us right now. Not what worked six months ago...or two years ago...or two years from now.
THE SCREEN-hosted class—while seemingly flat and two dimensional—should be viewed through another lens.
It is an opportunity to awaken something deeply three dimensional in your practice.
It invites you to create a space in your home—gathering cozy objects, like blankets and pillows—and express a need to yourself and others that you need to hold spiritual space, physically and emotionally, for yourself once a week for at least 75 minutes.
The screen/at-home class calls us to this New Ritual, and—perhaps—a more meaningful one.
Inside our home and deep inside ourselves.