I'm at a loss for words after the recent turmoil and display of hatred in Virginia. I find it hard to believe that this mentality still exists, and yet it does. I was reminded recently while in Ohio that people still think very differently than most of the folks in my part of the world. As I drove around the back roads of my small town I saw many confederate flags. Why? Why be proud of ignorance? I don't know...I really don't fucking know. We have to move forward knowing this ignorance and pride in it exists. A friend said to me recently "wow I'm so glad I meditate and do so much yoga and can detach from what's happening." Ah well what kind of dream land are you living in my friend? That's bullshit. You can't detach truly from what's happening. It's not possible..you can PUSH stuff away and pretend that your little world in your mind is all that exists, but that's not REALITY.
In the holistic/wellness/hippie-dippie/yoga world there is a fallacy that because we are strong spiritual beings that we are able to be immune to bad things. That suddenly we are able to practice "NON-ATTACHMENT" and not really "feel" what's happening around us. I don't believe in this, I don't teach it, and I certainly do not live it. Why? Because it's not real. It doesn't work. We are on this planet to experience a variety of emotions, experiences...some good and a lot bad. The bad stuff shows us the good stuff and visa versa. To separate ourselves from it is to play ignorant, which is just as bad as the ignorant people spreading hate.
We can sit in meditation for 24 hours, chant our mantras, eat vegetarian, and preach love all we want. But until we recognize what's happening in the world around us and take action to BE the change we want to see, our work is futile. (Not saying any of that is wrong btw) How can we taken action when we don't know what to do? PAY ATTENTION TO HOW YOU'RE SPEAKING TO YOURSELF! Chances are the way you are treating yourself is the way you are treating others. Notice it...observe it...be kinder to yourself...tell yourself loving things...and then go out there and treat others the same way. "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you..." RIGHT? How do we know how to do unto others if we don't even know how we do unto ourselves?
Most of us aren't aware of the inner dialogue with ourselves. Until we change that we cannot change the world around us. Therefore let's use our practices (whatever they may be) not to DE-TACH from the world but to connect deeper with ourselves. To see ourselves more completely and to watch how we are treating ourselves. So that we may improve upon the way we treat ourselves and in turn treat out world in the same way. So yes meditate for hours, chant, practice, etc but let's do these things with the intention of having a real conversation with ourselves. It's time we all come home and treat ourselves with the RESPECT and dignity we expect others to treat ourselves.
THIS is how we can begin to change our world. Don't throw your anchor down and run away...sit still and converse with yourself. Change the dialogue and see the dialogue change with the world around you!
We'll be flying through some wacky transitions this week in class that will require balance, stillness, pause, and a kind conversation with yourself. Please join me!
This is my favorite Mary Oliver Poem..