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Community is What You Make It

By Siri Kirin Kaur/Kathe Forrest

Community I have been searching for all my adult life. Childhood and growing up in a large family of 6 children did not provide much cohesiveness. I have traveled and moved from city to city, state to state for various reasons. I made friends at work or through the school my children attended (Waldorf). I enjoyed the knitting circles and gatherings for play performances or potluck dinners, Christmas and May Faires. Steiner (creator of the Waldorf traditions) was oriented to God/Goddess and I enjoyed the connections I made.

Enter Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training and a large group with which to enjoy even more the higher aspects of life through meditation and yoga. As I did not live in the city (Austin) that I took my training in, I began teaching in a rural area, in which I created my own associations through teaching. This was uplifting as I shared the teachings in my home, with Yogi Tea after class, catching up on friends’ and students’ lives. That segment of my life ended after several years when my child flew the nest.

Now, for me, community is my neighborhood! I have never lived in a city where I can walk safely or ride a bike to fun events, the library or farmer’s market. Now I share a community garden with people I call friends. We take care of one another with a neighborhood watch and this summer we’re planning a block party. As I walk my dog, Sherlock, up and down the streets, I say hello and I am greeted with big smiles or a “Good morning” or “Hello, how are you?” It feels wonderful! It is comforting!

I know too that each morning as I sit for sadhana, there are thousands meditating/chanting the world over and I am blessed.

[By the way, there is a great app called Insight Timer and you can connect to a Kundalini group as well as keep track of your meditations.]

What I have learned is that community is what you make it, be it small or large, yogic or not. I am realizing that if I drop all expectations and participate when and how I can and it feels right, then I have more than a 90% chance it will work!

“The world is so empty if one thinks only of mountains, rivers and cities; but to know someone who thinks and feels with us, and who, though distant, is close to us in spirit, this makes the Earth for us an inhabited garden.” 
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Siri Kirin Kaur lives in Eugene, Oregon, population 154,000. She is the author of Keep the Change, Simple Practices for Lasting Transformation and a yoga teacher of 20+ years.