The Truth is …

I went toward Tree of Life synagogue yesterday … parked the car at a distance … walked the mile slowly, afraid of what I might feel, afraid that I might be intruding on others’ grief. I made myself as small as possible. All I could do was stand … still. As my elder & friend Jim says, “Witness.”

The flowers, 11 candles (unlit) … the stones … I forgot my stone offering 😔 … the mourners … the Jewish men in a circle, singing deep and low “this is the house of the Lord …”

I am so sorry.

“Police line, do not cross” tape encircling the synagogue. Groups of law enforcement moving here/there, FBI agents, trucks, squad cars, evidence recovery teams …

Across the street — cameras, tents, more cameras — so many cameras, so many “eyes” …

I am so sorry.

Mr. Gottfried was from Uniontown.

I overheard 2 women talking that their friend, fellow synagogue member, was still in the hospital … “She’s recovering physically, but … She was sitting next to her mother … How do you recover from being shot at …”

I am so sorry.

A phrase reads (backwards from the outside) in one of the mosaic panels of the synagogue — “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the water.”

The phrase cycled nonstop as I witnessed the scene, in my body but not at all in my body …

Lettherebeanexpanseinthemidstofthewaterlettherebeanexpanseinthemidstofthewaterlettherebeanexpanseinthemidstofthewaterlettherebeanexpanseinthemidst …

Where is the expanse? Where? Where is the expanse for these people, these families, this community, our community, us, all of us?

I don’t know.

To witness the Tree of Life community mourn, care for each other, graciously concede to hundreds of visitors paying respects … They are teachers, & I am grateful.

I know gratefulness for the communities I’m part of. As I shared yoga on the mat this week, I find myself more quiet … somber … grateful for these people in the midst of the raging waters … on their mats … breathing & moving … connecting with each other. With me.

The truth is we are not separate.

Yoga at its core means to unite, to yoke … to realize we are not separate — from ourselves, from each other, from the Divine.

Thank you for your expansive hearts with me this week in the midst of it all. We are not separate. Namaste.

A sign seen on my walk from the Tree of Life synagogue.

(Quote at top reposted from Himalayan Institute of Pittsburgh)

Published by ericaengel42

I practice & share Hatha Yoga for a simple reason -- it works. Hatha Yoga in the Himalayan Tradition is a holistic system of philosophy & practices passed down through an unbroken 5,000 year lineage of Himalayan sages. What Hatha Yoga is not: trendy, bendy or one-&-done. What Hatha Yoga is: a systematic approach to uncovering the real, authentic YOU in body, mind & spirit. Hatha Yoga cultivates well-being, stability, clarity & ease in modern life through traditional, time-tested practices. I also recognize both our shared humanity & our differing privileges & barriers -- I am a cis-gendered white female with a graduate degree, who has dealt with family trauma & an eating disorder. My goals in my own practice include to cultivate awareness of my own privileges & social conditioning, unlearn & re-learn in order to be mindful & take compassionate action toward a more beautiful, just & peaceful world for ALL humans, creatures & our Earth. I'm making mistakes daily, & hopeful that I'm falling forward toward these goals & vision. I hope we can walk our paths & support each other along the way.

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