The Definition of Shanti
Hi friends, we are feeling very grateful today because we have been spending a lot of time traveling to children’s hospitals and meeting new friends. One of our signature games, which teaches mindfulness and gratitude, is the happy game. We take turns gently passing around the Happy Ball to each other, and we were sharing something that makes us happy, and all the kids had fantastic answers. One child said spending time with Mommy, another said playing with his brother, and other answers included, being in the sunshine, playing on the playground, eating vanilla ice cream, and singing songs with friends. And there was one little girl, probably around 6 or 7 years-old, that had recently had surgery, and she had the most poignant answer of all…she said, “Life.”
We all took a deep breath and paused to think about that answer for a little while. One word, and it means so much. Even Wuf Shanti had to hold the tears at bay while watching gratitude in action. We all were reminded of something very special, that every moment is spectacular, and it is what we make of it. We can choose to live in the past or the future, in fear or in love, as separate beings or as one in peace. We can choose to be sad or we can choose to be happy. And we can choose gratitude. This little girl knew it, and it is always a good thing to be reminded of that.
We are all one. In this day and age, with everything that is happening in the world, we can’t afford to be apathetic. We need to surround each other in love and light, spread kindness and peace, and we need to be louder than those that may lose sight of that sometimes. While speaking to a school about an event, the school administrator said to us that she was unsure if the parents would be receptive to a yoga class for the kids, even a fun one with music, games, and stories, and when we inquired what she was concerned about, she answered: Well, Yoga is a religion, and it is secular. Speechless…but only for a second. When we gathered our thoughts (and our mouths off the floor), and took a deep breath, we gently explained that Yoga is in no way a religion, and it is completely non-secular. We went on to explain that if Yoga is a religion, then it is a religion of love and kindness. It teaches gratitude, peace, and thinking well. It has the power to change this world of ours.
Sometimes when we meet new people, or people new to the yoga world, we realize that they don’t know what Shanti means. What do you think it means? Do you know? It actually means Peace. We strive to find the peace within each of us, and the peace in others, and bring peace to the world. This is how we get our name, Wuf Shanti, and this is why we say, Wuf Shanti, Wuf Peace, Wuf Namaste` at the end of every class. We are extending a hand to our neighbor in peace, recognizing the light and love within each of them, and making a commitment to be grateful for each day, spread kindness, and live together as one.
Wuf Shanti’s main mantras are “Think Well to Be Well”, “Smile and the World Will Smile With You”, and “Smile and Say Thank You”.
We are very grateful when a child reminds us of this, and while passing around the Happy Ball, gives her answer as simply as “Life”. Let’s pause on that for awhile. Wake up each morning and make a choice to be happy and live in peace. Together we can change this world.
Wuf Shanti, Wuf Peace, Wuf Namaste`! 🙂