Tuesday, June 27, 2006


Did everyone see this fascinating study on the decline of friendship in America? It's a thought-provoking study about how fewer and fewer Americans feel that they have someone to discuss important matters with - particularly people outside of their families. As a result, people feel more isolated and lonely. The ideas of discussion and having a confidante seem to be the foundations of friendship that the study revolves around. It's worth reading.

It makes me wonder how the facts of this study are reflected in the state of the art & yoga communities. How is the sense of isolation reflected in the way that people are creating & practicing? How do a group of isolated individuals even form a "community"?

It strikes me that the study & practice of yoga inherently leads people away from such isolated thinking. In my experience, yoga has led me toward self-study, which has led me to see my strengths & faults a bit more clearly, which has led me toward empathy, which has led me to feeling connected to others. The very purpose & practice of yoga is about moving closer to the world around us.

And yet, still there is division & disagreement in the greater yoga community. I'm lucky to not be greatly affected by it, but there are certainly many yogis that feel THEIR yoga is better than all other forms of yoga. Yoga can definitely be practiced in a way that leads people toward ego, pride, superiority, & isolation.

The same is also true within the realms of art. Ideally, art is a force that brings people together, and illustrates states of humanity & human existence. And yet, so often, art ends up just being the result of isolated identities... without dialogue, without honest or courageous discussion of what's important to the artist, without listening to what's said in response.

So it gets me thinking:
When we create art, who are we confiding in?
When we create art, with whom are we discussing? Are we discussing matters that are truly important to us?
When we create art, do we feel supported and connected? Part of a conversation with others?


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