Tuesday, August 16, 2011

I am Series

I am an Intellectual.
I am a Mystic.
I am a thinker and a non thinker.

Intellectuals are the moral conscience of their age, their task being to observe the political and social situation of the moment and to speak out freely in accordance with their conscience.
Jean Paul Sartre
An intellectual supports the democratic principles of freedom, equality, justice, human rights, social welfare, and environmental, political and social improvement.

Mystic: An initiate of a mystery religion, one in pursuit of communion with, identity with or conscious awareness of an ultimate reality, divinity, spiritual truth, or God through direct experience, intuition, instinct, or insight. Mysticism usually centers on a practice or practices intended to nurture those experiences or awareness.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

I am a Peace Activist

I am a Peace Activist.

There, it feels so good to say that! For Yogis, one of the highest precepts is Ahimsa- the teaching of nonviolence. We are to practice nonviolence in our thoughts, our words and our actions. A perfect action harms no one, including ourselves.

On being firmly established in ahimsa, there is abandonment of hostility in his vicinity.
Yoga Sutras 2.35

When established in ahimsa, there develops a kind of magnetism around one that influences anybody who approaches. One becomes free of a very dangerous, evil complex- that of violence and hostility.
Swami Satyananda Saraswati

It is my conviction that killing under the cloak of war is an act of murder.
Albert Einstein
The spirit of this country is totally adverse to a large military force.
Thomas Jefferson

In modern warfare, 90% of casualties are civilian!

In a time where it is glaringly apparent that the US is living beyond its means by over spending AND not taking in enough revenue, I believe a defense (OFFENSE) budget of 379 Billion is completely ridiculous. This amount is more than the rest of the world combined. In order to really understand a person, or a country, look at how they spend their money.

Most people in the this country have no idea that gas prices are subsidized by the US government. This would be like the government paying me money to so that I can sell my Yoga classes at cheaper prices- I wish! This country has been built around the idea of a free market with fewer regulations. Seems like the free market is being held back here. If gas prices were not subsidized, then people would stop buying as much gas and the free market would produce products run by sustainable sources of energy. If the US were not so dependent on oil, our reserves will run out in 10 years, then foreign policy would look dramatically different. If we say we are for democracy and pro human rights, then a country like Saudi Arabia would not be our ally.
Only 7% of US citizens have passports- the vast majority have never been outside the country to really get a taste of what the world thinks of us. The US is now an empire with over a hundred years of acts of terrorism carried out in our names.
Modern Peace Activists for more reading and information:
Howard Zinn, Noam Chomsky and Gore Vidal

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Jiva Code- the I Am Series

The Vedic term for soul is Atman, which means essence. The Atman has two distinct aspects- Para which means "supreme, highest, or culmination" and Jiva which means "individual or personal". Paramatman is the infinite and unconditional essence that is beyond all limitation, eternal and changeless. The Shvetashvatara Upanishad, a sacred text from the seventh century, describes this higher aspect of soul beautifully: "Omnipresent, dwelling in the heart of every living creature...He is the inner Self of all, hidden like a little flame in the heart...Know Him and all fetters will fall away." Your paramatman is identical to the Divine; there is no separation or distinction. "Ahum brahma smi" (I am one with the Absolute), say the Vedas.

Jivatman, on the other hand, is the individual soul. Think of it as your spiritual thumbprint, utterly unique for everyone. It is the part of you that, from the moment you were conceived, determines your uniqueness, your distint capacities, talents, and challenges as well as your inclinations- the individual aspect of you that make you uniquely who you are.
From The Four Desires by Rod Stryker

The concept of Dharma is the realization of our greatest potential. Dharma is our unique purpose for this lifetime- the fullfillment of the jivatman's deepest desires to serve humanity.

One of my teacher's, Rod Stryker, challenges Yogis to formulate a Jiva Code. The Jiva Code is a statement of our soul's defining purpose, it is the guiding principle by which we live life. It is not simply a goal because goals come and go. The Jiva Code is a constant, unwavering calling which informs our actions and interactions.

One should think long and hard on the formulation of the Jiva Code. For me, I sat with this idea for over a year. I knew the Jiva Code would be birthed when it was fully formed, ripe and ready for action. Recently, my Jiva Code ripened and the fullness of my dharma was made clear to me.

I am a revolutionary.

I use the I am with reverence. I believe it to be a manifesting incantation. Whatever we say after I am is self fullfilling prophesy. Whatever a person believes is either true or will become true. I am a revolutionary in that the revolutionary is devoted to positive change and transformation. I intend for my actions to be guided by a deep rooted desire to be an instrument of positive change. Fire is a means for transformation- my Jiva Code challenges me to make life a fire ceremony.

The true revolutionary is guided by love.
Che Guevara