Have you ever felt out of place?
Like you’re not in the right place, or that no-one understands you?
Do you ever feel outnumbered?
From a young age, I often found myself alone when I needed support. As I got older, I began to notice the value of being part of a team. I remember training with teams in college, I reveled in the atmosphere of camaraderie. It was not exactly what I needed, but it gave me a taste of the beauty of community within those competitive environments and I began to understand the importance of having a community.
In yoga, the importance of having a community is incredibly profound. Yoga brings together people of all different ethnicities, religions, ages, interests, shapes and sizes to join together in sharing an experience.
Think about the ancient scientists gathering together, experimenting with sounds, alchemy and more. They shared their findings with each other, discussed new ideas and combined their research. This is how humanity progresses.
Sense of community is what brought humans together over a fire as they cooked food for the first time. It is probably where meaningful speech originated.
When I first started practicing yoga this communal aspect was one of the main things that had me coming back for more. During class, people would go into their bodies and their breath. At the end of class when everyone felt elevated physically and emotionally, the connections we would share were so positive and encouraging.
Sangha, or Sangat, is the Sanskrit word for holy company. This denotes the kinds of individuals that gather together seeking spiritual liberation. The yoga community is known for this type of behavior, it is a community ripe for meaningful activism.
When I was traveling in India I came across different religious groups that would gather to sing and play devotional music. This was a powerful tool for connecting to meditation. I looked around and noticed men and women with their eyes closed, entranced by the devotional music. Their faces glowed with love.
Almost all of these religious communities offered delicious and healthy vegetarian Indian food to all who entered their temples. People in these communities were happy, despite their lack of smartphones or BMW’s. I was in awe of that experience and it deepened my desire to develop my own community.
It wasn’t long after that that I become fascinated by the idea of building a conscious community somewhere away from a big city. I looked around Canada and the United States but everything was expensive and still too close to “civilization”.
Then, on one of my travels to Costa Rica, I was introduced to Marie. Marie is one of the sweetest and most amazing women I have ever met. A terrific and accomplished chef she owned a beautiful property in Costa Rica on the beach. My business partner and I spoke with her and immediately knew that this was the location for Blue Osa.
Building a community is all about having the right people involved. The community has to have a structure and there needs to be accountability with the people involved.
What often happens is that communities without foundation become temporary holding spaces for people to feel better without making any meaningful progress in their lives.
Marie and the team we had to build Blue Osa were disciplined. Blue Osa holds a certain amount of light, and everyone here reminds each other of the light within.
Sometimes we go into dark spaces in our minds and our lives. We create habits that are destructive to ourselves and our dreams. We connect with communities that promote more of the same, and pretty soon, we are living a practical hell. The same way that positive energy creates more positive energy, negative energy promotes increased negative energy, so we need to be mindful of the communities we join.
This is why communities like Blue Osa are the perfect place to build a new vision for oneself. I started holding yoga immersions at Blue Osa and immediately noticed the positive effects on myself and others. The yoga immersions invite us to awaken from a dormant place.
Strong spiritual communities reignite our passion for light and divinity.
Everyone has the capacity for divinity. For some, it takes practice, for others it takes action. The community is a safe place to do both.
At Blue Osa, we decided that the food we eat would also be of a high standard. You can’t eat sloppily and expect to grow! So we developed a farm and cultivated the land the way she wanted to be cultivated.
Marie stayed with us and to this day provides guidance with cooking and preparations. The food is exquisite, and a lot of it has to do with the fact that we grow the food we eat. Food is a beacon for community and when people come for immersions here they are delighted with the food.
I worry about the internet community as it can be a very deceptive community space. A lot of people use it as a community gathering space, but there is a lack of transparency. People hide behind elaborate digital personas and can be completely different than what they project.
Also, people tend to say things to each other that they would never say in person and in this way the anonymity is dangerous. The level of authenticity is in question in internet communities. It’s important to be held responsible to be real, accountability helps us grow. The internet is a tool to connect and to find the importance of having a community, but then you need to turn off the computer and show up in person.
My favorite part of our community is that it is an open invitation to be who I am. It is a place where I can be authentically me. In that same space, I invite others to do the same.
This is what makes Blue Osa my home.