Often when I teach, I imagine myself as a fountain. The image I have is like a fountain in a city circle, with a magnificent stream of water rising high into the air, then showering down in graceful droplets. This image reminds me that yoga teaching is not something I do, but something that comes through me into this world.
You and I are fountains. Divine love and grace flows through each of us into this world, touching everything and everyone around us, and filling the world with beauty and love.
Of course a fountain needs bricks and concrete and plumbing and so on - all of the materials necessary for the structure. In our metaphor, the materials and structures of our fountain are the gift of the physical body, which must be sound and strong in us to allow for the flow of grace.
Our fountain also needs mortar, grout, sealants - that which holds all of the materials in place and allows the fountain to sustain the energy necessary for the flow of water. In us, this energy is the gift of life, which organizes and sustains the physical materials of the body, and holds it all together.
Clearly, there is thought behind the design and building of a fountain - architecture, engineering, craftsmanship. Continuing our metaphor, we have the gift of thought, which we can use to design and describe our experience.
The water, of course, comes through the fountain, not from it. For us, divine grace flows through us, creating beauty and love in the world. Our connection to the divine is the gift of awareness. The more open we are, the more goodness we create and experience in our lives.
Our task, then, is to be an open channel, like the fountain, and to allow divine grace to flow through us, into the world.