I hope the Thanksgiving weekend has been treating you well, and that you are weathering the potential dramas associated with the holiday season with grace and fortitude. Of course, if you do not live in the U.S., then this is just another weekend for you. In that case, I also hope that you are enjoying your weekend.
I just came across this passage from the writings of Daisaku Ikeda, a Buddhist thinker and poet whom I have great respect for, and I think it describes in a very poetic way what is probably going on in many areas of our lives right now, both on and off the mat. I thought I'll share it with all of you:
"Buddhism uses the example of flowering fruit trees -- cherry, plum, peach, etc.--to illustrate how each person has a unique mission in life. A cherry tree fulfills its purpose by blooming and bearing fruit as a cherry tree... It never imitates the blossoms of other flowering trees or wastes time being jealous of them. Rather, it patiently bears the frosts and snows of winter, drawing energy from the earth itself, pushing its roots deeper into the soil. Then, with the arrival of spring, in a burst it unleashes all the life force that it had been storing up, sending forth countless blossoms." (Daisaku Ikeda, A Piece of Mirror and Other Essays)
We are going through all kinds of challenges in our lives right now: struggling with a new pose or trying to get a particular pose in our practice; struggling to work with injury or pain; struggling with family drama/issues; and so and so forth. But from the perspective of Buddhism (and yoga as well), nothing happens for nothing. In other words, everything that happens in our lives has meaning. I am facing a particular challenge in my life right now because it is part of my unique mission in this life to win over this challenge and "bloom" in the particular way that only I can. Same applies to you. Whatever you are going through right now (whether it's an injury, pain, or a particular issue with family members) is there to help you become that most wonderful person that only you can become.
Seen from this perspective, we have everything to be thankful for; even our problems, because without them, we would have no impetus to grow and bloom.
So, let's continue to enjoy our lives and our practice!