A Sweet Story
Last night before drifting off to sleep, I opened Ruth Lauer-Manenti’s (Lady Ruth if you are lucky enough to be her student) beautiful, simple book An Offering of Leaves. I read the introduction in which she tells the sweetest story about her intention in writing the book. While in Bylakuppe, in Southern India, a territory that had been given over to Tibetan refugees, she was touched by the humble generosity of the Buddhist monks there. She writes, “An elderly monk came up behind me and slid a piece of cardboard underneath me. He smiled at me, and my cardboard seat felt luxurious… Everyone can give something. In that spirit, I offer this book, like a piece of cardboard to sit on.” She connects this to a beautiful line in the Bhagavad Gita, “However humble the offering, be it a leaf, a flower, fruit or water, if it is made with love and devotion, I will accept it” (Chapter 9, verse 26). And like that, she presents this book to us as a series of short teachings from the world of yoga.