Through our relationships with others we gain and learn so much. We find out how important love is, we learn to be empowered, courageous, strong, authentic and resilient. Moreover, it is often through our relationships that we also endure great suffering.
In the powerful book ‘The Buddha’s Wife’ the authors in their creative wisdom created a fictional story of Yasodhara. the wife of Siddhartha – The Buddha. The book, from chapter to chapter traces how we can all learn through her experience and teachings on how to apply her passage to heal our own suffering.
Throughout time we have heard of the Buddha’s story of enlightenment, but never before have we gone behind the scenes to experience the stresses, loss and betrayal of what it was like for Yasodhara, the Buddha’s wife to heal the pain of her deep depression and grief.
Yasodhara, in her anguish opened the door for all of us to take the journey on the path of awakening in relationships. Her story laid the groundwork of her healing that had been untapped until now. The Buddha’s own awakening charted a path for all of us to heal through enlightenment. And as much as the Buddha’s path calls for going within to become awakened, Yasodhara’s path was the complete opposite. She was able to seek liberation through community. They coined the phrase Sangha.
The way the story goes Siddhartha who was the heir to the family throne left the palace and “went homeless” to live a holy life and seek liberation from all the suffering he had witnessed. And then through his own awakening attempted to end suffering for all sentient beings.
With Yasodhara’s husband leaving the night she gave birth to their only son, she experienced a pain and grief so large that she begged for help from her community of women friends. She created a ‘community to awaken’ that went beyond all boundaries that had previously kept everyone separated by the caste system. This community would eventually celebrate and heal everyone enveloped in this circle. In time they called this the ‘Path of Right Relation’.
When we together as a global community acknowledge and support every member, we flourish. Facing the shadow as well as the enormous pain and despair that we have all experienced brings us closer to one another. In becoming more vulnerable, authentic and heart-centered we become more connected than we could have ever accomplished alone. In receiving each others’ gifts we are all blessed. It is in these moments that we experience the grace of others. Thich Nhat Hanh, a Buddhist monk, has been quoted saying that “The next Buddha may be the Sangha.”
He along with so many other Masters recognize the huge amount of suffering we endure in the west simply because of the vast isolation, separation and alienation we have formed from not allowing ourselves to have the compassion and self-love to share our stories.
I myself have been truly blessed with an awakened community. Through my own tribe there is a field of collective energy where anyone can come together and receive more hope, more peace, more joy and far more help then we could have ever afforded on our own. In Sangha we can benefit from one anothers’ strengths and support each other’s challenges. It is a spiritually chosen family where we can become liberated together.
As we are all moving forward and polishing our own mirror we can then be the reflection for one another offering strength, wisdom and courage. This is the path of the future since without this collective energy, individual transformation and ascension is not easy. We cannot do this life alone.
The author Madisyn Taylor wrote it beautifully in her DailyOm blog, “We all desire to find our tribe, a community of those that feel comfortable to us and nurture our journey. Part of being human is the search for an individual identity. Bound to this strong need to establish a unique persona, however, is an equally intense desire for acceptance. It is when we find our individual tribes that both are satisfied. Our tribe members are those people who accept us as we are without reservation and gladly accompany us on our journeys of evolution. Among them, we feel free to be our imperfect selves, to engage unabashedly in the activities we enjoy, and to express our vulnerabilities by relying on our tribe for support. We feel comfortable investing our time and energy in the members of our tribe, and are equally comfortable allowing them to invest their resources in our development.
The individuals who eventually become members of your unique tribe are out there in the wide world waiting for you. You are destined to find them, one by one, as you move through life. Sometimes your own efforts will put you in contact with your future tribe members. At other times, circumstances beyond your control will play a role in helping you connect with your tribe. If you look about you and discover that you are already allied with a wonderful and supportive tribe, remember that there are likely many members of your tribe you have not yet met. On the other hand, if you feel you are still living outside of your tribe, broadening your horizons can help you find your tribe members.
However your life develops after you come together with your tribe, you can be assured that its members will stand at your side. On the surface, your tribe may seem to be nothing more than a loose-knit group of friends and acquaintances to whom you ally yourself. Yet when you look deeper, you will discover that your tribe grounds you and provides you with a sense of community that ultimately fulfills many of your most basic human needs.”
I whole-heatedly invite each one of you to begin to create your own awakened community. Make it a vehicle for compassion and as a means to end the illusion of fear, isolation, suffering and separation. After all there is strength in numbers. And, if all the above resonates please remember to pass it on. With this intention we can be freed from sadness and sorrow as we come together to awaken. The Wounded Healer must first heal herself. However, we cannot do this life experience alone any more. I have the deepest appreciation to all of you as we plant the seeds to cultivate and create more love, bigger communities and endless indescribable peace…
I wish you All the best Thanksgiving holiday ever! May you continue to be blessed every single moment of every single day. I wish you so much love, joy, blissitude and abundance. May Grace follow you wherever you go and May you receive all the blessings that heaven can share. I invite you to ask the universe for the next greatest adventure that your soul can create. Know that the Best is Yet to Come! And won’t it be Great! Know you are loved beyond the beyond.
Let’s get the party started. Make it the best holiday season ever knowing you were born for Greatness!