May 20, 2010

Facebook Kula.

Social Networking…for Love!

My friends had a good laugh at my expense the other day when I said, recently, “you know, when I was younger, I used to think I’d been born at the wrong time, that I would’ve been happier if I’d been alive in the 1920s or the 30s, or in an earlier century.”

“But now that there’s Facebook, I know I’m in the absolutely right time.”

I had just finished taking and uploading a photo of our gathering at our usual spot after Saturday morning yoga, warmed by delicious Blue Bottle coffee and the company of my darling kula [yoga community] buddies.

As goofy as it sounds, it’s really true.

Since two years ago, I think, when I first started on Facebook, I have really felt its bounty in my life. And I am reminded of what my beloved teacher asked us to do last night in yoga, to look back on our sadhana (practice) and reflect on whether we had more good in our lives as a result of our practice, more beauty, more shri. I am fully aware that it sounds possibly ridiculous to put a devoted yoga practice, a sadhana, in the same context as Facebook, but honestly, the more I think about it, the more I realize that the deep sense of connection I have to my practice, to the community I practice with, is threaded through with my reliance on Facebook to stay in community with the kula even when we’re not on the mat, to share the lessons learned, to reflect on the fruits of the practice.

When my husband was diagnosed with cancer last summer, Facebook was an endless source of support and upliftment.

Joe refuses to have his own account, but man, was communicating with his friends and mine and our families made easier by posting news in one place. And man, didn’t our Friends boomerang back so much support and love to us through the same means, in addition to visiting with us real time and feeding us. Both the yoga and the Facebook buoyed me throughout the difficult time of Joe’s diagnosis and chemo—those nets of love caught and held and carried us both.

Sure, there are super stupid aspects to it, like that farm game or the Mafia Wars. There are definitely people whose updates I’ve Hidden. I have un-Friended people, some of them relatives, whose posts take the tenor of the dialogue down too far (“TGIF, dudes, let’s get waaaaaaasted,” from a nephew, for example).

But really I am realizing more and more—and my Status says so this morning—the real value of Facebook is that it facilitates non-stop 24/7 communication of love between friends. I love the constant dialogue, the messages of love, the animal videos, the sense that I have my posse in my pocket all the time. I know that was always true, but I really don’t think that, face to face, we are as expressive to each other as we are when we respond in writing.

In yoga, every pose is a gateway to the heart. Carried off the mat, every interaction contains within it the potential for greater connection, the opportunity to make more shri, more beauty, in the world around us. So too with Facebook, at least for me. Use it for love—and more love you shall have.

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