Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Love letters to everyone

"You simply give... you don't be concerned about the address... you simply go on sending the love letters... Somebody will receive it somewhere...and the more you go sharing... the more goes on entering in you from unknown sources..."  ~ Osho

I saw this quote posted by a lovely yogini this weekend, and it's been bouncing around in my head for the last couple of days.  Love letters to no one.  Love letters to everyone.

There are a few literal interpretations that come to mind.  The first one I thought of (for a few different reasons) is writing.  Any time you write something in a public forum, you're sending out a bit of yourself, and you don't know where it's going to end up.  But you keep sending anyways.  And every now and then (as happened to me a couple days ago), you get a crystal-clear confirmation that yes, you are coming through loud and clear.  Somebody receives it somewhere.

I also thought of our Bikram teachers, who stand in front of a room of people every day - sometimes a room of familiar faces, sometimes a room of strangers - and give us these same instructions, day in and day out, in the belief that something they say will always get through to someone, sooner or later, even if they never know who or when or how.  You simply give.  One of my teachers once said, "It's like ringing a doorbell.  You know someone's home, but maybe they're asleep.  You just keep ringing that doorbell until something happens."  They're not doing it for themselves.  They're doing it for us.

I also thought of our yoga practice.  Sometimes when I practice, I can feel this amazing energy pouring out of me, and it doesn't matter where it goes.  I just send it out.  Maybe sometimes another student gets it, maybe the teacher gets it, maybe it goes to a friend of mine who is thousands of miles away.  I'm not concerned about the address.

But most of all, I though of a change that came over me after I'd been practicing Bikram yoga for a while.  I remember that I used to go through life feeling separate from other people.  (No more or less separate than I imagine everyone else feels.)  I would walk through the city feeling negatively towards the strangers around me - feeling impatience, judgment, mistrust, annoyance, suspicion, or just indifference.  And then, yoga.  And then, at some point, a switch flipped.  I found myself walking through the city after yoga practice feeling this overwhelming affection, gentleness, and compassion for all the strangers around me.  Towards absolutely everyone.  It would last throughout the day.  Then throughout the week, the month, the year.  Not always lit up like a beacon - those bursts are much more rare - but burning steadily, quietly, like a pilot light underneath everything, always ready to burst into full flame.

This is something so inexplicable to me that I rarely bring it up in detail.  But I was speaking with a friend of mine a couple weeks ago, a Bikram teacher, and she described an experience that absolutely was identical to mine.  And as strange as this (still) is, there's only one word that we could find in our vocabulary to describe the emotion. 


For everyone.

You simply go on sending the love letters.  And the more you go on sharing, the more goes on entering in you from unknown sources.


Note:  The person who spoke those words, Osho, is a very interesting figure whom I'd never heard of before.  I read his Wikipedia page and it sounds like he had one heck of a life.  I don't know enough about him to pass judgment one way or another, but the affection for fancy cars definitely reminded me of another crazy Indian who we all know and love...


Dorothy said...

I love this idea. Random love is still love, right? Awesome.

aHappyYogi said...

So true words that Osho wrote, not only this one but many more. I read a lot from him during a period in the 80's and 90'. He was a truly controversial person. He spoke of Love and Laughter. The hardest thing was not to understand what he said but how to follow it in the daily life.

bikramyogachick said...

J~ beautiful post. How can we go wrong when we put love out there? It will come back to us, ten fold.

hannahjustbreathe said...

J: This post literally brought tears to my eyes. I feel as though you wrote the very words I've felt dozens of times.

Right now, this moment, I am sending you the biggest, tightest hug. Can you feel it? It's love.

thedancingj said...

I'm so happy that you guys "get" what I am saying. This one actually meant a lot to me.

Hannah - Didn't mean to make you cry, bu kinda glad that you did, if you know what I mean. Hugs back to Boston!!