A Coincidence & A Dance

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I live in Park Slope – a Brooklyn neighborhood with numerous highlights, one of which is “stoop recycling”.  It is unanimously agreed upon that anyone can leave a box of books just outside their stoop and everyone else is free to take as many as they like.  These boxes are almost always empty by the end of one day. I LOVE books – so this has always been pretty exciting to me.

I used to live in Hawaii – which perhaps due to daily light rain showers, does not have this practice.  Although they have a delightful one of sharing the abundance from mango and other fruit trees that grow in their backyards.  I LOVE mango – so I was equally pleased.

While living in Hawaii, I took one of those fateful walks home along a different route.  And stumbled upon a Park Slope style box of books. I couldn’t believe it. I think I even looked around as if waiting for someone to tug on a string and pull the box back as I reached down.  Instead, I found a treasure trove of books by Ram Dass and Krishnamurti . I was early on in my yoga path, not yet even calling it a path, and had no idea who those men were. I did, however, recognize the word “yoga” and scooped them up.

only dance there is coverI chose the book with a psychedelic dancer on front (later I would learn this to be Nataraja – the dancing destroyer siva), and opened to the first page:

“Last evening…as one of the journeyers on a path, a very, very old path, the path of consciousness, I, in a sense, met with the Explorers Club to tell about the geography I had been mapping”

And so begins The Only Dance There Is by Ram Dass. The book that launched my understanding of yoga as so much more than the physical practice.  In a very real way, I have been journeying on this ancient path following the maps laid out by the greats, and exploring the occasional off shoot of my own, ever since those words entered me.  Ram Dass has been an integral part of that experience, and a continual guide and inspiration.

He has written a number of remarkable books, yet this is one I return to over and over. He has a true gift with words, and shines best, in my opinion, through the recordings of the numerous talks he has given over the years (many of which are now being released on the free podcast “Here and Now”).  This book, a collection of such talks, remains my favorite.

Which is why Yoga Between the Lines – yoga book club – is reading it for May & June.  Learn more about the club, and then pick up your copy and join fellow explorers!

Missed the beginning of the book club? No worries! The format of the book is perfect for jumping in anywhere!

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4 thoughts on “A Coincidence & A Dance

  1. Ricki Jean May 13, 2014 / 6:37 pm

    Jen, this book club, and your serendipitous experience both sound awesome! xox RJ

  2. Ricki Jean May 14, 2014 / 2:46 pm

    How do we sign up? Or just show up for group on Sunday?

  3. jennifer whitney May 14, 2014 / 7:00 pm

    Hey Ricki Jean, for this round you can just show up for Sunday – the target reading point is part one and two. With a focus of discussion on part two – so if you just have time for some of the reading I suggest that part. For June it will be part three and four. During the month I’ve sent out emails that I will include you on for next month! It will be so great to see you!!

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