Purna: The Season of Fullness

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Summer: a perfect reminder of the abundant beauty and fullness that surrounds us. The Sanskrit word for fullness is purna (pronounced poorna).

Purna can be recognized in blooming plant life, in the gathering of friends on warm nights, in eating chocolate soft serve in the sun (which is what I’m currently doing while writing this). Purna comes alive in moments that feel full just as they are without needing to have more. You can think about when you eat a delicious meal and feel perfectly full; being satisfied without wanting more. Purna exemplifies that same satisfying simplicity – the kind of fullness that is rich yet allows you to settle into the feeling of this is just enough. It's a dance between moving inspiration and settling content.

The image above is from a rose garden I visited just a couple of weeks ago with my sister. This rose garden is an exquisite example of purna: an entire property overflowing with rose bushes of different scents and colors that flood the senses. The entire place is full - to the brim - with resounding beauty. One of the most special parts of summer is the intrusion of nature (the most ecstatic, welcomed intrusion, of course). Being in that garden, I was reminded of something Bill Mahony said during a Tantra workshop I attended:

You are an expression of the divine yearning to be.

An interaction like this, with natural beauty, is a potent reminder that life itself is living in you, in every single cell, and it is saying yes to your existence moment to moment to moment.

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Being in nature gives me these two reminders:

1.    My place in this world is radically affirmed

2.   I’m surrounded by divine imagination

Does that resonate with you? How can you not believe in divine imagination when you witness roses with splattered colors, like someone had painted the petals themselves. When you see petals that look as delicate as tissue paper but then when you go to touch them, you feel their strength, that kind of strength that says, I’ll come back every single season, despite the inevitable dying off. A reminder of how strength blooms from the stem of surrender. How can there be so many different aromas and color schemes? Surely, this has to be the work of divine imagination. We can look to nature, especially during this season of heightened adventure and outdoor time, to receive this ecstatic revelation. The revelation being:

I am as full and effulgent and vibrant as this nature that surrounds me.

What yoga teaches us, is to not just stop there. What do we do with such a revelation? I think our own answer to that is in our actions – or our response – to the revelations we do receive.

So my question for you is: what is a moment of astounding beauty and fullness you can reflect on – one that you’ve encountered this summer?

My follow up question to that is: how can your actions, interactions, and contributions to the world be a direct expression or extension of that fullness?

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Reflecting on such questions continues the life-long inquiry into how we can harmonize inner and outer worlds; how we can not only appreciate moments of beauty, but go one step further and recognize that same full beauty within ourselves. This allows us to genuinely serve our communities locally and globally from a place of fullness.

When we feel full, our impact on the world is greater.

To put it bluntly, your existence is rare and precious and wildly ecstatic, so what are you going to do about that?

How can you more fiercely step into that fullness? What is an action step you can take (or a mental attitude you can adopt) that would help you step into that fullness and receive the abundance you desire and deserve?

My way of feeling full lately has been getting out into nature when I can – hiking, swimming, interacting with flowers, bathing in nature’s splendor. I’ve also been diving into some sexy, feminine activities that help me step into my fullness as a woman (sexy heels and belly dance classes, for example).

Here’s to your own fullness and all the ways you brim with beauty. I hope you get a chance to get outside and marvel at the imagination of the world around you.

Thanks for reading,

Sarah