I am not often speechless. There are very few times in my life where in retrospect I am unable to weave words that adequately describe an experience into an entertaining and often humorous description of an event. Seriously, I even tend to do this with very somber and serious things like funerals and yoga classes. There are the rare few events, usually the latter of the two, that so move me and lift the veil of separateness that I am left with a palpable sense that something tremendous has just occurred and there is no language to clothe it.
The experience of the Global Mala project at the studio where I teach was one of these times. Close to thirty people embarking on a journey to deepen their path of yoga gathered together on Sunday morning September 23rd, to join with hundreds of other studios around the world in creating a “mala” of collective consciousness and shared practice with the purpose of promoting peace.
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The Global Mala Project is the heart-child of yoga teacher Shiva Rea. The vision was for yoga studios, teachers, and practitioners all over the world to join together on September 21st, 22nd, and 23rd in the creation of “malas,” of 108 practices to form a symbolic “global mala” of consciousness in support of the UN’s International Day of Peace. Studios and practitioners recognized this practice in many ways. Some chanted rounds of 108 mantras, others created a mala of 54 Sun Salutations, others joined in 27 minutes of silent mediation, and many others created their own experiences based on the sacred number 108 honoring peace and unity. All proceeds collected from these events were donated to national, international or local organizations working to promote collective consciousness and peace.
So how’d it go? At our studio, it was incredible. On the day of the autumnal equinox, we shared 108 OMs followed by 108 Sun Salutations and ended with a silent meditation for peace. To describe it fully, I believe, would diffuse some of the sacredness of the experience. Suffice it to say that there were many tears and beads of sweat culminating in the most peaceful and resonant silence I have ever experienced.
As I have been searching the Internet for other recaps of the experience, I am finding that there is not much in the way of description. There was an amazing event in Chicago on the coast of Lake Michigan with over 400 people, and some great pictures, but not many words. You can also find pictures of Global Mala from Yoga Three studio in Boston, and the LA event. I believe that as all of us who participated in this weekend of “mala” making will eventually have the words to describe it, but for now, maybe we are all still resonating with the vibration of collective experience and just as you meditate on a single note until it fades completely, we are all still following the vibration.