For our July Seattle Potluck we welcomed special guest, Dr. Joel Levey, the co-founder of WisdomAtWork.com and The International Center for Corporate Culture and Organizational Health at InnerWork Technologies, Inc. in Seattle. After dishing up delicious goodies brought by attendees, we circled for a beautiful and inspirational talk by Joel.
As the introduction and eating came to a close, Joel carried us through a guided meditation to begin. With our legs crossed and eyes heavy he allowed us to find that space within ourselves that receives and radiates. His calm and comforting voice instantly awakened our stale breath as we sat there now slightly taller, inhaling just a little deeper than before.
We looked to Joel bright-eyed and light as he began with a story about women he used to serve. He asked of them, “How many of you suffered enough to want to help others?” The Street Yoga volunteers present spoke to that question and felt it resonated with their own reasons to serve. One-by-one we shared why we serve and what our current challenges were as teachers, leaders and volunteers.
Mary Kay, a site volunteer spoke to why she serves, “I’m here because I believe, I’ve seen the work of yoga.” For one or more reasons, we all found ourselves wanting to give something of our self to another. Even though we expressed our many challenges with teaching to such a population, Joel assured us that we must “…find confidence in our inner guidance…find that voice within yourself.” He explained that we need to come from the understanding that we serve those who “have an identity as a victim.” Using meditation as a tool to allow the “victim” to give 37 5 adipex themselves loving kindness, safety and a peaceful space is the ultimate goal. When we divulged about our struggles with class outlines or “what to do next” Joel reminded us that “the best outline written for class, was written AFTER class.” He encourages the use of Metta and to “honor yoga of improve” as a way to guide your students.
His stories of enlightenment continued. Back when Joel was sent to teach the Green Beret he was reminded that Buddha Nature is found in everyone. As Joel lead them through an extensive period of Vipassana it wasn’t the easiest of tasks but finally, one day a large soldier in a skull tank with a weapon to his side, sat in meditation and something happened. Sitting there he began to cry and cry covering his skull emblem with tears. Bringing his hands up to his face, he cried more and when Joel approached him the soldier asked aloud why do we kill, why do we make war. As teachers, we may not ever realize how our work heals or inspires and it’s those little moments that remind us why we serve and why our challenges are there to strengthen and deepen our ability to give again.
The circle concluded with an uplifting meditation exercise by Joel, leaving us grateful to have been among such company. With palms together we thanked Joel and ended another potluck with food for body and thought.
If you were inspired by the wonderful work of Dr. Joel Levey please visit Wisdom At Work. The Seattle Branch Community Potlucks are held on the first Thursday of every month. To learn more about our potlucks, please visit the Street Yoga website and sign-up for the newsletter.