paths crossed


Weaving the web of life more vast than thought

I ran into an old college buddy at a wedding last week. I met him my freshman year in college, living on my own for the first time in 2002. We had a good bond, but stayed acquaintances through our time in college and had since lost contact for six years or more. Right before “you may kiss the bride” he leaned in and said, “We need a giant om session right now.”  I wanted to start the  “you’re into yoga too?!?!” conversation, but obviously it wasn’t the right time. Later though, I learned that he’s been teaching yoga in Denver for three years or so. He said, “Remember that time we didyoga in Johnson Hall (in 2002 or 2003)? After that I discovered if I did yoga four hours a week my migraines stopped.”

I was struck because I remembered myself at that time. Despite partying a lot, I was planting the seed of a yoga practice that was unknowingly beginning to grow into a lifestyle. Over time yoga has taught me an awareness that has changed and continues to change my life. It has become a basis of how I learn and make decisions. It has strengthened the tools I need to achieve my goals. It has given me a way to relax, find peace and feel better.

So there we were, kids trying out an experience together, feeling out what life had to offer and choosing which direction was right for us. This experience would stay with each of us as we traveled through life. Our paths crossed for short time and over a decade later, when they cross again, we are both amazed at what we’ve seen.

The image of a maple tree comes to mind. Green seeds equipped with helicopter flight gather nutrients from the mother tree. When the time is right and these seeds have properly browned, they detach from the mother and begin separate journeys. From there each story is unique- some seeds root down, some are eaten up, some torn apart by curious hands. Whatever their story, they take their common experience of the mother with them.

The point of writing this is that through this yoga journey I’ve often thought about my own curious and winding path. However, in our yoga classes or satsangs or heart to heart conversations or any time we gather and look and learn together we are all green seeds connected together through the mother of that experience. As the wind takes over our wing, we disperse but the experience stays. Some of us connect to the same tree over and over again with the same seeds. Some seeds connect up for only a moment before the winds of life spread us apart.

It is beautiful to think of how, for a fleeting moment, something that made a difference to me was also making a difference to you. And we didn’t know it. And we may have never known it. And there is much that we will never know.

Every person you come in contact with is a seed connected to your experience. That experience goes with both of you to the next tree.


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