Equality and Yoga

The Bhagavad Gita states that when one knows Truth, one sees all living beings as equals with equal vision. One sees oneself, the trees, plants, insects, birds, animals, and all varieties of humans as all children of the same source.

“One who sees Supersoul equally present everywhere, in every living being, does not degrade himself by his mind” (13.29).

If we awaken to this commonality, Earth and all of its waters, forests, wetlands, oceans, creatures, crops, and all humans whether or not we agree with them, deserve equal reverence, protection, rights, and most importantly love.

Because many humans think we’re more important and more deserving than the rest of life is how we got to be in this state of climate catastrophe and social injustice. Like children raised by parents who are more interested in their own selves, nature is beginning to aggressively cry and act out for the attention and love that it had always deserved.

In degrading nature we degrade ourselves. For example, if the water is polluted and we rely on the water to drink, cook, and bathe, we ingest the pollution through our bellies and skin. Same goes with the air, soil, etc.

Yogis: you have the knowledge. You must act on this every moment, embracing all life as your family. It is time to put the rainforests and respect for animals before our taste and diet preferences. It is time to bury consumeristic conveniences in the past by spiritualizing the way you cook, eat, walk, and live. It is time to recognize the sacred in everything, and then turn towards and serve the Supersoul. After all doing so is our True Nature.


Making Peace with Death

According the the Bhagavad Gita, death isn’t the loss of life, but it is the soul’s exchange of one body to it’s next. The soul is infinite and simply acquires and lets go of bodies just as we acquire clothes and let go when they’ve become worn out.

Fear of death is one of the kleshas, or obstacles of Yoga, which is resolved in the Bhagavad Gita, death really is not an issue because the essence of a being is eternal. Sadhguru stated a question that illuminates this point, that I paraphrase: when someone loses weight, have they lost part of themselves? No because they are not the body. When a tree loses its leaves it is still the same tree.

When you love someone are you in love with their body? When parents love their children and after ten years their children have completely different bodies, yet they still love them, so they must be loving something much deeper than the body.

Our thoughts and state of mind at death determines the body and the conditions of our next life, and death could arrive at any time. So, we must tend to the spirit as if today was our last. How do we know the state of mind or what we will think of at the time of our death which could happen at any moment? Look at what you fix your mind on. What are your daily and moment to moment focuses?

Maha Mantra

According to the Bhagavad Gita, translated by Swami Prabhupada, in the Age of Kali, there is no process that allows one to realize the Supreme other than chanting ‘Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.’

Juniper Berries

Juniper berries. I continue practicing this lesson from every fruit-bearing tree, which is to selflessly offer the fruits of my labor without hoping to receive anything in return. Often when I do expect something in return, it ends up causing deep pain, because I am not living according to Truth and love. However, when giving without attachment to receiving anything, it leaves my mind and heart at peace. Right work done well and in the mood of serving the Lord without attachment to the fruits is a form of prayer. Through karma yoga, we can obtain mukti, or liberation. “Remain evenminded in success and failure. Evenmindedness is true yoga.”

Magic of Tapas

I wanted to say the magic happens when we practice our sadhana.

The truth is magic is happening all the time,  but we can’t see it unless we maintain the tapas, the fire of motivation and discipline of daily sadhana.  The hustle of our lives blurs our vision of reality; we walk around and interact with skewed perception of what’s objectively happening.

I found this sundog when I pulled my mat outside for my sadhana of asana and japa.  I never would have noticed it had I not laid down on my mat to begin my practice.

The magic is waiting for us to connect to it, the problem is that most of us don’t have the tapas to keep returning again and again, which is what it takes to see it.  Don’t expect to find it the first time you choose to show up, or even the 50th time.  It will reveal itself when you’re ready, in other words when you’ve been purified through your regular sadhana.

The Bhagavad Gita states, “Thus practicing constant control of the body, mind and activities, the mystic transcendentalist, his mind regulated, attains to the kingdom of God by cessation of material existence… 

He(She) who is regulated in his(/her)habits of eating, sleeping, recreation and work can mitigate all material pains by practicing the yoga system.” (6.15-6.18)

Earth Day Karma Seed Bombs

Karma yoga is the connection to oneness or God by renouncing the fruits of our actions.  

The Bhagavad Gita states “The yogis, abandoning attachment, act with body, mind, intelligence and even with the senses, only for the purpose of purification.  The steadily devoted soul attains peace because he offers the result of all activities to Me [Krishna]; whereas a person who is not in union with the Divine, who is greedy for the fruits of their their labor, becomes entangled” (5.11-12)

The health of the planet, the purity of the air and water we thrive on effects our own health; one’s health depends on the health of Earth.  We are not separate.

It’s a little bit frightening to realize this and consider where our planet is at…

Many swamis have said that the external world is a reflection of our internal world.  How is the state of our environment reflecting what’s happening within us?  

We come to our sadhana to improve ourselves first and then it ripples out to effect our environment.

So for yoga teacher training on Earth Day, we engaged in some karma yoga, as pictured above: seed bombs.  These are balls of clay and wildflower seeds to plant in neglected spaces.  

To make a seed bomb get some overworked clay from a local potter to recycle- it should be moist but not a slurry.  Get your seeds, ones that can grow independently, and a little compost to give them some nutrients.

It’s 3-5 parts clay to 1 part seeds, 1 part fine or sifted compost.  Of course I don’t measure, so I recommend grabbing 1 inch diameter ball or hunk of clay, flatten, and then sprinkle your compost and seeds in the middle.  Fold the clay around it, start to ball it and work it it becomes an even mixture and you might be able to add some more seeds in.  If you mix in too much, the clay will crumble, so just split it into two and add a little more clay to each.

Let them dry for at least a few hours and then find some neglected spaces to spread some beauty!  Think about if someone is mowing or weed wacking the space and avoid planting seeds there…

Finally offer your seeds up to that which is Supreme.

For more detailed instructions on seed bombs: http://www.rodalesorganiclife.com/garden/diy-seed-bombs