Monday, May 2, 2011

Namaste Monday: Nonviolence

Since it's Namaste Monday, I wanted to merge yoga with current events and express my feelings over what I posted earlier today.  

I think as any human, it's hard to control our reactions to something like the recent killing of Osama bin Laden.
In fact, there has been a lot of debate over whether our reactions are justified.
I think it's also hard to be a yogi in this situation.

Living a yogic life means keeping the Yamas and Niyamas in the back of your mind.
There are five of each:

Yamas are Abstinences that should be followed.
They are:
Ahimsa (Nonviolence)
Satya (truthfulness)
Asteya (Non-stealing)
Brahmacharya (chastity)
Aparigrapha (non-recieving)

Niyamas are observances.
They are:
Saucha (Purity)
Santosa (Contentment)
Tapas (Austerity)
Svadhyaya (Study)
Ishvara Pranidhana (worship of God)

I'm not saying I follow all of these, I just always keep them in mind in life.
Anyway, the one that stands out during this time is Ahimsa, or nonviolence.
I try to apply non-violence, physically and mentally.
That means trying my best to accept everyone, and not let bad thoughts cloud my judgement.

But how can we as yogi's approach the thoughts of nonviolence to this man whose life was dedicated to violence?
Are we suppose to apply the thoughts of nonviolence to murderers, rapists, and molesters?

I think the yogic world can be confusing.  I'm a teacher and I still don't understand it sometimes!
We try our best to see the good in everyone, but I think we are all aware that not everyone has good.

As yogis, we are taught to love one another, and respect each other.
But how is it possible to love someone who is "evil"?  How is it possible to respect someone who has caused so much pain to so many innocent people?
I think that's why the debate is so hard.  
I'm not going to lie and tell you I don't back the special forces that performed the operation up one hundred percent.
Maybe it makes me a bad yogi, whatever I don't care, but I AM happy Osama is dead.   I think that while we have a long way to go before we achieve peace, a step has been taken.

At the same time, I don't think the intense celebrations were needed.  Not only was it bad for us as a country to be on TV dancing in the streets, but something felt off about it.
I know a lot of people said we shouldn't celebrate because a person still had to die.  I'm saying we shouldn't celebrate because we have to remember what it took to get here.

So many people dead.
So many lives ruined.
So many innocents lost.
So many towns shattered.

Like I said earlier, we need to remember those who died today.  I believe we shouldn't give Osama another thought.  He doesn't deserve it.  Instead, remember the soldiers who lost there lives.  Remember the innocent people who died.  Remember those in 9/11.

Do I think I think the world is a better place without him?  Maybe it makes me a bad yogi, but yes, I do.
His actions caused families to fall apart.  The worst was seeing innocent Muslim families who were American citizens being blamed.  My best friend is Muslim, and her family is the sweetest, most loving people you will ever meet.  

I have always believe in Karma.
What comes around goes around.
Would i necessarily call it justice? Not really.
I would say in this case, karma got Bin Laden.

Maybe we shouldn't celebrate.  Maybe that's the wrong way to handle this.
Instead, let's just focus on the positive.
Let's remember those who have killed, and look forward to peace in the future.

It's my only hope that one day everyone can practice nonviolence to each other.
Are we on the right path yet?
I'm not sure.

I hope in my lifetime we begin to see something peaceful.

So I ask you this:
Did practicing yoga change your feelings to the news today?
Do you think celebrating is appropriate?
Do you believe in Karma?

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for your comments and thoughts. I appreciate your questions.



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