Does how we start our week affect the way we resolve conflict, manage deadlines, or even interact with our colleagues? In my mind, absolutely. Cleaning “house” is always one of my biggest stress relievers, and at the tiny yet vibrant Street Yoga office it is essential! Our space is a small but airy office on the 4th floor and we are blessed with wall to wall windows, full of morning and midday sun. In fact, we rarely turn on the overhead flourescents. Our small staff of three employees rotate chores in order to remove dust, trash & recycle, and dish washing.
We support one another by cultivating a space filled with “saucha” a Sanskrit word for cleanliness and purity of body and mind. Patanjali declared “Through cleanliness and purity of body and mind, the mind naturally begins toward the divine, and away from the external, physical world.”
Even though Street Yoga works deeply within in the World, we also strive to embody and model the principles of the yogic scriptures as a way to be both in this world and focused on the eternal at the same time.
Today, As I moved furniture and swept the corners clean, I began to hum a vedic mantra. Ganesha came to mind, as he is the Lord of Obstacles (both placement & removal!). Yet the physicality of the broom in my hand brought to mind the image of a goddess of the hearth. As a youth, I was fascinated with Greek Mythology (much more colorful than the Catholic Saints I prayed to in school)… and now I wondered who in the Vedic realm might be a similar archetype for Hestia, the Greek Goddess of the Hearth.
Hestia means “the essence”, the true nature of things.
The Greek Goddess of the sacred fire, Hestia was once known as “Hestia, Chief of the Goddesses” and “Hestia, First and Last”. Hestia was the most influential and widely revered of the Greek goddesses. Hestia’s order phentermine online no prescription counterpart was the Roman Goddess Vesta.
Though the goddess Hestia was once the most important of the Greek goddesses, she (like her counterpart, the Roman goddess Vesta) is virtually unknown today
Scholars often refer to the goddess Hestia as “the forgotten goddess”. Say the name Hestia (or Vesta) and few recall anything about them. Because of the goddess Hestia’s association with hospitality, the word Hestia can be found mostly in the names of inns and restaurants, making some people wonder if “Hestia” is the name of a franchise.
Unlike the other Greek goddesses, Hestia does not have a “story” . . . there were few adventures to record about her. The goddess Hestia simply “is”.
She is the Goddess of the Hearth, the symbol of the house around which a new born child is carried before it is received into the family. Each city had a public hearth sacred to Hestia, where the fire was never allowed to go out. Of all the Olympians, she is the mildest, most upright and most charitable.
Perhaps she would be likened to Gayatri, whose mantra is as ubiquitous to households as a sacred hearth was in Ancient Greece (and for that matter, all cultures!)
Gayatri Mantra (GUY-ah-tree) is one of the most known and beneficial of the ancient Sanskrit mantras. Gayatri is a mantra of physical, emotional, and mental healing, purifying the subtle karmas, protection from the onslaught of obstacles, and of spiritual awakening or Self-realization.
On the absolute reality and its planes,
On that finest spiritual light,
We meditate, as remover of obstacles
That it may inspire and enlighten us.
Inspired by my morning of cultivating sacred space, I began my week with the ability to ground into my tasks and truly allow the sacred element of seva (service) of this work to trickle into the administrative day-to-day routine.
How do you begin your week? What inspires you and creates the reality in which you operate?