Home Yoga Exercises This Gratitude Activity Will Help Your Family Find Common Ground

This Gratitude Activity Will Help Your Family Find Common Ground

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Have you ever tried lokasamgraha?

No, it’s not some stylish new food you’ve by no means heard of.  It’s a yogic observe—one of the necessary, and least understood.

In the third ebook of the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna explains to Arjuna {that a} yogi’s responsibility is to behave within the spirit of lokasamgraha. In Sanskrit, loka means “world,” and samgraha means “work that holds together.” So lokasamgraha means appearing in a approach that holds the world collectively:

If solely so the world can maintain 

Together, you must work (3.20, trans. Majmudar, Godsong, p. 29)

A yogi isn’t obsessive about what others take into consideration them. The yogi doesn’t act for fame or renown, to develop into rich or fashionable. The yogi does what is sweet, as a result of it’s good, as a result of it’s crucial, as a result of it holds the world collectively, as a result of it creates the situations that enable us—all of us—to flourish.

Seems easy sufficient. But how do we all know what it means to carry the world collectively?

Look to Thanksgiving, I say! And, particularly, to that usually dreaded ritual, the Thanksgiving meal.

See additionally: 5 Poses to Help You Survive Your Family This Holiday Season

The Thanksgiving experiment

In addition to being a yoga and meditation trainer, I’m a professor of communication. My college students typically come to me for assist with their most hectic talking conditions. Every yr, Thanksgiving dinner is close to the highest of the record. What is it about this ritual—ostensibly a time for gratitude and giving thanks—that turns the dinner desk right into a cage match, and that brings out our pointed resentments to be wielded like knives?

Happily, not everybody who practices the Thanksgiving ritual of a shared feast endures such hell. But I’ve heard sufficient tales and I do know sufficient individuals who dread it, to acknowledge that the problem is actual.

My recommendation for college students of yoga is to show the Thanksgiving meal into an experiment. It is the proper alternative to observe a lokasamgraha meditation.

See additionally: Bring Akhand to Your Practice For an Authentic Yoga Experience

Communication as yoga

As I train it, the lokasamgraha meditation includes three steps. The secret’s that this isn’t and can’t be a solitary observe; it have to be completed in dialog with others. Think of this as an opportunity to observe communication as yoga.

Step 1: “Grateful Talk”

Choose one person on the desk to start. For two minutes, this person speaks from the guts about what makes them really feel grateful. Everyone else listens with their full attention. After two minutes, a timekeeper rings a bell or a chime to suggest that the speaker ought to wrap up. Then the subsequent person speaks. And so on, till everybody gathered has had a flip.

Once everybody has spoken, take a couple of minutes to debate what individuals shared. Are there gratitudes widespread to your desk? Maybe it’s the timber in your favourite forest the place you want to walk, or your morning espresso, or your pets. Whatever it’s, take be aware, and permit this widespread gratefulness to deepen your connection and set the desk for dialog.

Step 2: “Remember the House”

My favourite poet, Walt Whitman, asks, “Shall I make my list of things in the house and skip the house that supports them?” Now it’s time to contemplate the issues that help the issues you’re grateful for. How did these issues you’re grateful for come to be? You could contemplate the earth we stand on, the air that’s our breath, the water that flows by way of our veins, the solar and the moon that shine in our eyes, the crops that give us life.

Choose one instance of gratitude shared by the desk. Collectively brainstorm every part that’s crucial in your grateful object to exist. Someone make an inventory. And as that record grows, enable your sense of the world to develop, too. Nothing is self-made or self-existent. Everything is interconnected. Noticing these connections is yoga.

Step 3: “Stand Up, Arjuna”

To conclude your dialogue, brainstorm at the least 10 ways in which you and your Thanksgiving crew can act to protect the issues you’re grateful for. What work are you able to do to carry your world collectively—the issues you’re grateful for, and the issues that make the issues you’re grateful for attainable? Think from the bottom up, be artistic, be sensible, and keep in mind the home. For yoga practitioners, this would possibly imply meditating on the five elements—earth, water, hearth, wind, and house—to higher join us to this stunning earth we name dwelling.

This is the very important mental work of yoga—of karma yoga, the yoga of worldly motion, the yoga that seeks to carry the world collectively and defend what is sweet. This is the work of lokasamgraha. And it’s finest completed collectively, in neighborhood.

In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna invitations us to contemplate the chance that every part we’re grateful for—every part we contemplate to be good on the earth—could possibly be misplaced, if we’re not brave sufficient to work in its protection. That is why he repeatedly urges Arjuna to “stand up.” He is aware of that Arjuna is frightened and weary. But if he doesn’t rise up, the world that’s good and exquisite may be destroyed.

Your inside warrior

Few of us contemplate ourselves mighty warriors like Arjuna. But Krishna’s phrases are a message to all of us. He empowers every of us to acknowledge that there are issues we are able to do to carry the world collectively and to create an setting wherein we are able to all flourish. Some actions may not appear to be a lot—a form phrase, a pat on the again, an out-of-the-box whats up that blossoms into an sudden friendship. Others are extra deliberate and life-altering. No matter how powerless we’d really feel, in relation to the great, none of us are powerless, particularly once we act collectively as a neighborhood. 

You can do that lokasamgraha meditation anytime you collect with others. However, Thanksgiving dinner looks like a very auspicious second. I’ve had many college students do this meditation out through the years, they usually’ve reported that it went properly, making for a memorable—and in a few instances, life-changing—dialog. I hope that this observe transforms any dread you would possibly really feel about Thanksgiving dinner into delight and surprise, and that it brings you nearer collectively, too.

See additionally: Let Go of Perfection with Wisdom from the Bhagavad Gita

About our contributor

Jeremy David Engels is an creator, yoga and mindfulness trainer, school professor at Penn State University, and one of many co-founders of Yoga Lab in State College. He may be discovered at @yoga.professor.



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