A Weeping Yogi

During our March Break ski trip to Whistler, BC, while my family frolicked in thigh-deep Pacific Powder and I did—not, I visited The Oracle (More than just a store . . . an experience!). While there, I made a purchase which I tucked away in my suitcase to take home to put in my office.

On the day we returned home, within hours—before we even had a chance to unpack—we learned that our close friend, Lynn, had died that morning.

Laden with grief, I unpacked my suitcase and came upon my purchase: a Weeping Yogi.

His card reads:

“The yogi weeps because the world is profoundly sad, they say, and someone has to always be weeping for its sorrows, so that you can be joyful. Hand-carved in Bali, these yogis take your pain so that you can enjoy life. Known for their gentle, joyful spirit, the Balinese believe that sharing your sorrows lessens the load and sharing your joys helps you grow: so share your sadness with the yogi and share your joys with those you love. Holding his head in his hands, the yogi seems to be saying, ‘If it’s too much for you, please share it with me. It’s why I’m here. It’s what I do.’ Some feel that the yogi has either just moved into his pose of sadness and sorrow, or is about to stand up in happiness and joy.”

That day, I held the little wood carving in my hands, and damned if I didn’t feel a little better.

I’m not sure what compelled me to pick up the yogi, but in the past three years I’ve lost two of my best friends (ages 46 and 47, for Pete’s sake), my brother, my mother-in-law, and my dog. To add insult to injury, we even lost the Dairy Queen in our neighbourhood, so I can’t even inappropriately self-medicate with hot fudge sundaes anymore.

My cynical friends will say that it’s just a piece of wood. They’ll say its effects are the result of a psychological mind game.

Yep. It’s a piece of wood. Yep, it’s effects are a psychological mind game. (But then, isn’t everything?) All I know is that, this past week, I picked up that piece of wood and held it for a while, and then I wrapped my dog’s collar around it.

Damned if I didn’t feel a little better.

14 thoughts on “A Weeping Yogi

  1. Marybeth Ellis

    Darn you, Arlene! I should never read your blogs while at work!! You have me in tears again. I need one of those weeping yogis, too.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts …. and feelings. As always, you hit the target and you say everything so superbly! (Is that a word?)

    Mb 🙂

  2. John Pitcher

    I was going to write the same thing as MaryBeth. More work tears. I think I have one of those but was never sure what it was. I will have to look for it. It might have gone to the Bazaar last year.

  3. Agata

    I got attracted to these over 13 years ago. The beauty of the wood and its carving. I saw the big size of this sculpture on display at one store & I wanted it so badly for its beauty. Then I left home & then came back to the store but it was gone from display and so was the store. It took me 6 months searching for it. And one day I found the store called “the Magic Mountain” The owner introduced me to this sculpture and offered small size of the same kind, but I wanted thesame size 2′ x2′ the exact size sa the one I saw. In that time I was studying Interior Design. Anyway, to make the story short. We made a deal. He made an order and shipped it directly from Indonesia for me. But, the deal was to get 2 instead of one & I agreed. And the price was high as well. It took 6 months of waiting and finally I got them. Then another problem appeared. The sculptures started cracking into a spiral shape, when winter came. I found the Celtic Artist who used shilac injections to put it all back and properly preserved it. Today they are as hard as a rock. That took a while. I loved these sculpteres & they had a meaning to me as well.

    1. Arlene Somerton Smith Post author

      I was pleased to read your story, Agata. The sculptures must be really beautiful. Unfortunately, I can’t sell them for you through this site, but there are lots of free sale sites around that will do the trick. Good luck.

  4. willowmarie

    Who knows why or how comfort comes to us…it just does. That’s all that really matters. Interesting though, that of all the things you might have bought, you chose that particular carving? I’m glad you did.

  5. Dee

    I recently purchased a weeping yogi WITH A FACE. I have NEVER seen one before. Same pose, same wood, same everything as a regular weeping yogi, but there is a full face resting on the hands.
    I can find NOTHING on the internet to explain. I’ve researched extensively, and cannot find any reference.
    It’s totally different and frankly, it’s the tiniest bit creepy.
    Any ideas???
    I’d TRULY appreciate getting pointed in the correct direction.

    Thank you!!!!

    1. Arlene Somerton Smith Post author

      I have never heard of that. The one I have is in full weeping stature – head bowed and hands covering the face – like a person would be in great sorrow. I suppose, though, we often do weep with our head up and eyes open, especially when we’ve passed the greatest sorrow and have raised our heads again to carry on. Maybe it’s a “carrying on after grief” symbol. I like the idea anyway.


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