Ignorance is Anti-bliss

I saw this posted in the storefront of where Srila Prabhupada set up shop in NYC to share prashad and kirtan.

The root of all problems is our ignorance of who we really are. We aren’t solely the body, or the mind, we aren’t our thoughts, jobs, hobbies, liked or dislikes, but we are spirits connected to all sprits. If we can recognize our underlying unity, we would no longer need borders, no longer need to compete with each other for resources, but instead we’d do everything in support of everything.

Avidya, or ignorance, is the root of the ego, attractions, aversions, and clinging to life, these are the obstacles on the path. Once we realize our connection and yoke to it, we attain vidya, or knowledge, and then we will find harmony, fairness, and peace.

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Defending Earth is Self Defense

We will realize protecting Mother Earth is self defense.

Yoga, or the realization that the self exists as an inseparable part of the whole and our meaningful existence is found by serving the whole, is the first step to overcoming the obstacles in battling climate chaos and eradicating humanity’s egocentric thinking that Earth and all its creatures and resources exist solely for human use.

Destruction of the environment and our stable climate is a direct result of the mistaken thinking that humans are on top with the rights to use, abuse, manipulate, and destroy as they like.

Malcolm X said, “I don’t even call it violence when it’s in self defense; I call it intelligence.” At what point will standing in the sidelines be more violent than resisting the destruction of the planet and its ability to provide for future generations?

Excerpt is from a highly recommended read titled Igniting a Revolution: Voices in Defense of the Earth:

Lactofermented hot sauce

I love fermented hot sauce, you get some probiotics and a delicious condiment! To make your own lactofermented hot sauce: get a bunch of peppers of any variety, like at least a pound of peppers, an onion, some leeks, garlic, or ginger, 2-3 table spoons of sea salt, a glass jar with a wide mouth and another glass jar that fits inside as closely as possible. Blend/food process into small chunks, cover with the smaller jar. Leave to ferment for 1-2 weeks in a dark cabinet or room.

Is Yoga at its Roots Anti-Civ?

I read a great essay by Terra Greenbrier, titled, “Against Civilization For Reconnection to Life!” This essay confronts our attachments to the norms and why we need to break free from the current status quo in order to realize our true nature, which is connection to nature and each other. Science has started to prove that social relationships are just as crucial to health and longevity as exercise. We don’t need to wait for science to catch up to realize the importance of our connection to all of life and to Earth. Here are the highlights from the essay:

“School, work, media, science, medicine, religious institutions, the nation-state and its military, political systems, economies, concepts like Progress, patriarchy, domestication, reason, morality, and politics are institutions that separate us from directly experiencing the diversity and inter-relatedness of the living world. Living within the circle of life, as an integral part of a whole organism, forms a basis for our relationships with other humans.”

How can we free ourselves from our dependence on civilization and all of its destructive distractions from our True Nature?

1: create or participate in catalyzing situations

2: inspire people to question human-centered, control-oriented culture

3: move towards decentralized, anarcho-communist, worker-controlled, ecologically harmonious, classless, international networks of syndicates/affiliations

4: figure out which seeds to scatter that will sprout from the compost of current society and then scatter those seeds. For example, teach people how to grow their own food, compost, mend clothing, fermentation as food preservation, etc.

5: confront the subtle, psychic logic of Civilization within ourselves and reclaim our Self from the false self that we were taught to create and project into the world

6: share, cooperate

7: earthen-building

8: DIY, permaculture, edible landscaping

Yoga teaches us that we are either living in yoga, a spiritual connection, or bhoga, enjoyment of the senses. In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna warns that the more we indulge in the senses the further entangled we become with maya, or the material. This inevitably always ends in misery because all material enjoyments are temporary and it hurts when we get separated from our attachments. If we find fulfillment in yoga, or this spiritual connection to the Supreme, which is infinite and unchanging, we find eternal contentment. The Srimad Bhagavatam asks us to turn away from all of maya’s distractions such as movies, politics, even friendships that aren’t based on spiritual connection, so that we might find meditation, which is defined in the Srimad Bhagavatam as an unbroken stream of one thought on the Supreme.

To solve our problems we must turn towards the divine, and with realization that all living entities and the Earth are marginal energies of the divine, then each act of preserving, respecting, connecting with life, becomes a devotional act that liberates us from climate chaos, from the binds of society and civilization, and ultimately from the Maya and its inevitable miseries.

Eco Karma Yoga and Prepping

My partner and I went around the neighborhood and sowed some seeds into the planters. I’ve always been inspired by guerrilla gardening. Look up Ron Finley’s Gangsta Garden project to feel inspired yourself! He even has a TED talk about it.

As we exist on the tipping point of destruction or saving our planet, each act as small as a seed being planted could make a big difference! How will we survive if things do collapse? By adapting, figuring out ways to DIY, growing edible landscapes and then knowing how to cook what was grown from scratch, networking into smaller communities, prevention of diseases through self care practices, etc. Collapse really could happen any time, a peculiar piece of evidence that I caught was a commercial on TV for 15 year supplies for a family of prepackaged meals in case of an emergency.

To be responsible is to be prepared. To be prepared through the various mentioned ways would undoubtedly soften human’s load on the planet anyways and thereby reduce whatever consequences we would face if we didn’t start preparing now.

This week we move into Spring, so it is time to practice growing some edible plants, especially those of you who think you can’t!!! Herbs are a good place to start. Lay some seeds down, connect to your community, bicycle instead of drive, and know that this is all part of our ahimsa practice towards the Earth and all of its current and future inhabitants. This is our karma yoga, to selflessly serve the earth and al it’s people, plants, animals, and insects, even when it’s not the most convenient for your self.

PS. If you’re in Milwaukee, you can come to Eco Yoga Sunday’s at 10AM and know that 20% of total proceeds from your asana practice is donated to organizations that keep rainforests intact!