In my news feed on Monday morning, I stumbled across this wonderful post on “Open Source Buddhism.” In attempting to define Buddhism and the concept of Western Buddhism, the author makes this statement:
What we call Buddhism is a widely distributed network phenomenon designed to optimize the human experience. Like the Internet, it started out as someone’s idea, but then spun out of control: no one person or group now owns it, and it is being modified and updated from day to day in millions of little increments, from every corner of the known world.
He continues on this brilliant and illustrative riff on Buddhism being like the internet in a way that makes a lot of sense to this technological age. Half way through the article it struck me: replace “Buddhism” with “yoga” and it’s the same story.
Where is “the Internet?”
It seems to adhere somehow to the computers and networks that are part of it, but the Internet itself can’t be found.Where is “[YOGA]?”It seems to adhere to the people and networks that are practicing it, but [yoga] itself can’t be found. Yet both the Internet and [yoga] can be demonstrated, utilized, applied in countless ways.
At a time when the news seems focused on the divisions of yoga styles and rating one against the other, this post is a gentle reminder about the constant development of our personal relationship to yoga.
So whether you practice one style or anther, study with a particular spiritual guru, practice at the gym or make yoga your lifestyle, it’s all the same network and, eventually, we all make our way towards an “open source yoga”, practicing from our hearts to the best of our individual abilities.