At this wonderful time of year, here is my little wish for you, relevant today and all days:
“Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu.”
“May all beings everywhere be happy and free. May the thoughts, words and actions of my own life in some way contribute to that happiness and freedom for all.” Translation by Sharon Gannon, Jivamukti Yoga
We have been listening to and contemplating this Sanskrit mantra in classes week, and I think it’s really helpful at this time of year. Here’s the version I have been playing:
The mantra forms part of the traditional closing chant of Ashtanga Yoga. We use it to recognise that we are all interconnected, all part of a global energy.
Sanskrit is a beautiful, ancient and complex language, in which the vibrations of the sounds are important. There is often no direct translation to English, as each word carries vast depth and meaning. Another translation of this mantra could be “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
I don’t like to focus on the negative, but I think it’s important to remember that some people really struggle at this time of year for a whole range of reasons – loneliness, grief, family feuds, poor health, debt, hunger, war, and no doubt many more. This suffering occurs throughout the year, yet is somehow magnified during the festive season, when so many other people are having an amazing time.
While we alone cannot stop all suffering, we can do our best to promote this happiness and freedom for all. That starts from within, from choosing to have kindness and compassion for yourself and others. It can come from the smallest of sentiments, such as holding a door for someone, smiling, letting somebody go in front of you, calling a friend, giving your change to charity. There are so many small ways that we can help others.
Some of you already know that I help out at my local scout group in Wateringbury. Each year the scouts have a community week where they help with projects in their local community. The tag line is ‘Do 1 Thing’. I think that’s a great place to start. Simply start your day with the intention to do one thing to make somebody else’s day better. If everybody in the world did that today, think how amazing it would be!
Wishing you a happy and peaceful Winter Solstice, Christmas and New Year,
xx Helen xx
PS – All classes are on as usual up to and including Friday 23rd December. Classes resume on Wednesday 4th January 2017!