Earth’s #metoo

If Earth was on social media, She also would have long accounts of #meto such as burning forests in order to build monocultures, massive penetrations into Her for strip mining, to the bioaccumulation of plastics in the oceans. All for the sake of making the lives of the ruling class frivolously glamourous, the 99% of humans have stood tolerant, as passive accomplices to crimes against each other and our only Home and sole source of life, Earth. To witness such violence against all of us, humans, animals, water, air, forests, oceans and not do anything is to stand on the side of the abusive, violent ruling class.

“Greetings from the front… Forests, farms, and wetlands are being replaced with a sea of houses, green chemical lawns, blacktop, and roadkill. Farmland is being bought out by land developers because of their inability to compete with cheap corporate, genetically-engineered, pesticide saturated food. The time has come to decide what is more important: the planet and health of its population or the profits of those who destroy it… Big business is the enemy of the people, yet most people remain blind of it due to the massive propaganda and the power they yield… The time for action is upon us. We are watching.”

How can you speak up for those without a voice? What action can you take to protect what is sacred?

Time is running out; we are at the tipping point, in which we either change where we stand and how we act on our ideals or continue to watch everything unravel.

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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:

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.

All Spiritual Paths Include Environmentalism

Here are a couple quotes inspiring this post from Igniting a Revolution edited by Steven Best and Anthony J. Nocella, IIMany of us are going about our daily business while a mass-extinction is happening.  While we mind our own business, we choose to remain blind to the thousands of species that are dying for the sake of profit and technological “advancement.”  

Is it too painful too look at our mistakes in order to change our self-destructive choices?  Is it too embarrassing to realize how long we’ve been abusing our Mother Earth?

It’s not too late to mourn the losses and then choose differently.  We can choose to protect those without a voice.  

In kindergarten we learned what self-centered is and how hurtful it can be, we need to apply this beyond human to human interactions to all Beings who have a right to be respected and protected.

Going to the roots of all spiritual paths, environmentalism is natural.  Our spiritual success is measured by realizing and acting on the fact that we aren’t the center of the universe.  Let’s honor our Source and honor the sacred nature of each other and the millions of species whom we’ve silenced.

Brahmacharya: seeing and treating everything as sacred, a yogic principle that could save us from the grief of being responsible for millions of deaths, the ruin of millions of homes as ocean levels rise.  We are one with all of creation, and beneath the illusion of separation, the joy or pain another experiences resonates within our own hearts.

Now is the time to rejoice in the decisions you make that protect all Beings and to change the decisions that you can’t rejoice in.  Brahmacharya is profound spiritual practice that will give you myriad reasons to celebrate.

200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training

200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training  changed my life.  It was within my training that I deeply examined my beliefs about myself and the world.  I had been doing this for years already, especially within my BFA studies at UWM, in which I put my relationships to myself, each other, and to Earth under the microscope lens of art and womens’ studies courses.  In yoga teacher training, a fraction of the time required of a student within the university, I had the opportunity to look through the lens of a yogi at my life and how I interact with my world.

I grew up a critical thinker, always distrusting the mainstream ways, and I would critique the mindless day to day life of consumerism that the American Dream encourages.  I thought by being a producer of thoughtful images and objects, I could begin to inspire art viewers to question their own relationship to the American Dream, to the blind consumerism, to the disconnections we have with each other and our planet.  I was frustrated with humanity.

Yoga Teacher Training showed me a new way.  The way of the yogi.  Love is power.  Frustration is not a way to inspire others, but love is.  I changed my relationship to myself and to my community.  Anger has been replaced with acceptance, understanding, and most importantly love, and from this nourished rather than frustrated source of energy, I now address the issues I always have been in a far more effective manner.

Profoundly humbling, and from my deepest source of love, I am now leading a 200 hour teacher training through the Third Ward’s Institute of Beauty and Wellness.  Who knows how Yoga Teacher Training could change your life?   Sign up here: http://ibw.edu/programs/yoga/

Photo credit: Nicole Sheldon