The Importance of Coming Together – Gathering, Part 1

I've been waiting for the right moment. Seems that NOW is that right moment – the right time of year – to share with you some thoughts about gatherings. Get-­-togethers. Groups. Parties. Meetings. Communities. Clambakes! Particularly, at this time of year, folks are Gathering. They are coming together. Why is it that we come together?

People throughout the centuries have gathered together for the sake of security. In fact, humans have an innate desire to belong to a group. To a tribe! We know this as socialization.

Socialization begins very early in life. Humans are born into this world as biological organisms with animal needs. His or her first chakra – Muladhara –the ‘root' chakra -­- is at play….basic needs are paramount – air, warmth, food…. If these needs are met appropriately, the infant will begin to seek out other humans and will begin to learn social ways of acting and feeling.

The Second Chakra! From a yogic perspective – an energetic perspective – it is the second chakra – Svadisthana (translated as ‘sweetness') (also called the Splenic or the Sacral chakra) that begins to wake up and to prompt the individual to seek interaction with others. This chakra is also associated with desire, pleasure, creation, procreation and emotions. Do you know – or have you known – a 2 year-­-old with emotions?!

A healthy second chakra will serve throughout our lifetimes to further our interaction with others. Now, that is not to say that folks who are quiet and rather introspective by nature have unhealthy second chakras! There is always a balance between overactive and underactive. Even those among us who are quiet and shy (me, for one!) need others around to draw us out, and to speak our truths! But that discussion is for another day!

Let's us skip the third chakra for now. Manipura. He/she is a lonely chakra….. Because, it's all about ME! And, as we are now looking at gathering, groups, tribes, etc…let's save that chakra, too, for another day! It's important, though!

Now, let's chat about the fourth chakra…… the Heart Chakra! Anahata. The heart chakra -­- the wellspring of love, warmth, compassion, and joy is located in the center of the chest at the heart level.

Anahata moves love through our lives. It is the center of our deep bonds with other beings, our sense of caring and compassion, our feelings of self-­-love, altruism, generosity, kindness, and respect.

Anahata is an integrating and unifying chakra -­- bringing to wholeness -­- as such, it is our healing center. Indeed, most spiritual traditions recognize love as the ultimate healing force. The energy of Anahata allows us to recognize that we are part of something larger, that we are interconnected within an intricate web of relationships extending through life and the universe.

Anahata allows us to recognize and get in touch with the sacred and fundamental truth that runs through all of life and connects everything together.

The "way of the heart" or the "path of the heart" is living your life from this energy center of love. It means living our life with loving kindness and compassion towards others. It means that our hearts are open to others and that we inspire kindness and compassion in others. We create safe and supportive environments. Others can feel our love and warmth. They feel loved and accepted unconditionally. People feel at peace around us, as there is no judgment coming from us. When Anahata is open and energy is flowing freely, we are not only loving to others, we are also loving to ourselves. We know when we need to say no and when we need care and self-­-nurturing.

Thanks to Chakra for so succinctly expressing the energy of the Heart Chakra! Very basic image of our energetic system. The Chakras.

Suffice to say at this time, that coming together – whether at this time of year -­- or to practice Yoga is a wonderful way to connect with others who have certain values and mores. Very often, a certain group energy arises within our gatherings that serves to raise our spirits and to help us along our spiritual journey. It is a journey that has pitfalls and roadblocks. The road can be rocky. But, the group – the Sangha – as it is called in Sanskrit – is always there to sustain and support us.

Hope to see you soon on the mat! HAPPY HOLIDAYS! STAY HEALTHY! LOTS OF LOVE……..