Today is my last morning in Bhagsu. This evening I will be taking a bus to Delhi, tomorrow I will give a small workshop there and Saturday I will be heading for Hong Kong. I feel nervous and sad about leaving this place. It has become a safe haven where I can practice different aspects of my humanity with like-minded people. But I realize that I was even nervous about leaving tension-filled Baghdad to go to Istanbul. It is just new attachments that need new letting go and making new steps into not-knowing.
I liked the fact that I made friends here. Or: not really friends but nice people who I shared something profound with. But I can feel that the magic that connected us is slowly ebbing from our hearts. Everybody is either off to the next chapter of his or her adventure or preparing for that. We have reached a point where we don’t fall in each other’s arms every time we run into each other on the small streets of Bhagsu any more. May be some of us have even stopped greeting each other. I always have a bit of trouble with that. But I also know it is me. For years I was the last one to leave the dance floor after a night out.
I realize more and more that to feel good and focused and to be present I need to practice. Discipline is essential. Our hearts want to close all the time, at least in my case and of the people I know (perhaps there are enlightened beings who are 100% open 100% of the time, I have re-opened to that possibility after reading and hearing about Hindu masters). But for many others and me a daily practice is essential. I also just realized that to stay open as a group the group needs a collective practice. I don’t know if it sounds obvious to you but it is an insight for me.
When I give a workshop or a mindfulness course or work with people individually I am very personally involved: I really care about the outcome and experience my participants as friends, soul mates, fellow travelers and brothers and sisters on the path. I give as much of myself as I can, I can see their huge potential and my heart starts jumping around with joy when I see them connect to their hearts during a workshop, course or session. I once read that it needs five inspired people working together tightly towards the same goal to start a movement. Only five! What if I can inspire 20 or 30 people in every country I work? During this journey I have had about 100 participants already. I might have reached 200 or 300 in 6 months from now. This is an army of inspired people! Together we can really make a difference!
Unfortunately it doesn’t work that way. People lose touch and go on with their lives. More than 80% of my former participants don’t even respond to my email ever. Until today I took it somewhat personal. I felt that I must I have done a not good enough job and felt ashamed. I would stop emailing after a while. But this morning I realize it is because the group doesn’t practice as a group. When we don’t share, learn, laugh, cry and grow together we lose touch with the collective heart. It takes time for the collective heart to open. That I have the ability to give people an experience of feeling empowered and connected within a short time is nice, to think that my popping up in lives of others will cause the accidentally formed group to start functioning as an enlightened entity is completely naïve.
My naivety makes me laugh; I can feel compassion for my oh so well-meaning deluded self that really believes in miracles. Every time when I feel and witness the power of connection between the one heart and the other I am convinced we have the potential to change the world and I never get tired fantasizing about the possibilities. And it is true: the power of love is limitless. But I forget how much continuous hard work it is even for myself to stay connected to that source and I barely manage. Creating an ongoing practice is hard, creating the space for a group to grow is even harder.
This is a nice insight on which I will ponder more the coming time. I will take it to my last yoga class.