After we had started the weekly gatherings at the community center, I noticed that the initial enthusiasm for weekly gatherings started dwindling.
While the first week had a large gathering due to Erin’s birthday, the attendance in the following weeks became noticeably less.
At first, the four of us that helped organize the space would show up. The following week I would get a message saying someone wasn’t going to attend and it would be just a couple of us.
Even though the others who helped initially organize the space and gatherings were supportive, I realized they didn’t approach it with the same degree of commitment.
After a few weeks, it was just me showing up on Fridays.
I began to question if no one was going to show up, why don’t I just perform Agnihotra at home? Why come here?
I began to reflect back on my efforts to help organize the weekly gatherings. I thought to myself, I made the effort. I had answered the call when I was asked to share the practice. If there isn’t sufficient interest in the weekly gatherings, then so be it.
I gave myself one more week. If no one else showed up the following week, then I would discontinue the effort.
The following week I walked up to the back patio and I was the only one present. As I was setting up my patra, I saw a young woman walking in the back patio and was looking around.
As she came to the table where I was sitting, she had asked if there was a fire ceremony gathering here.
I was pleasantly surprised she came alone to the gathering. Usually people come with others.
I told her “yes,” and invited her to join.
I explained the practice and how to perform it, and set up an extra patra for her to make the offering.
At the Agnihotra time, we recited the mantra and offered the rice in unison, and meditated until the fires went out.
When I opened my eyes after the meditation, I noticed the young lady was wiping away tears from her face. I realized she was so moved by the practice, she was brought to tears.
She apologized for the tears and I said there is no need to apologize, and I told her I was happy she joined and was moved by the practice.
I immediately realized that her attendance and her tears were the answer to my question as to whether or not I should continue the weekly gatherings. I needed to continue sharing the practice and not discontinue the effort.