I am so grateful for yoga.
A crisis is defined as a time of intense difficulty, trouble or danger. This is surely where we find ourselves, ten months into this pandemic. Though vaccines are providing a tremendous ray of hope, a public health crisis continues to rage, taking far too many lives, besieging our health system, and devastating the lives and livelihoods of millions.
In addition, self-interest and fear have created a crisis of truth and integrity at the highest levels of leadership, worming their way into every part of this country and creating a plague of their own. Our nation’s ability to function as a democracy – or at all – is threatened by those in power who care more for themselves than for the good of the nation. Years of unethical choices made in pursuit of success have brought us to a potential breaking point. I pray for a miracle in this season of miracles.
All that being said, yoga teaches us that though we may not be able to solve the very real and tremendous problems before us today, we can still find the peace we seek. We learn that peace comes from acknowledging the true source of our unrest, and that source isn’t really outside of us…
The principal source of happiness is inner peace. Someone who has already had practice in developing this peace, who already has a certain experience of it, will not be easily troubled by ordinary enemies. However, hatred, malice and spite will destroy this mental calmness. The true enemy, therefore, is malice. External enemies may be real enemies for a certain time, but it is conceivable that one day instead of harming us they may turn into friends. But the inner enemy will always be our enemy – in the beginning; midway through, and at the end; it is impossible that it will ever become useful to us.
– The Dalai Lama
As resistant as we may be to letting go of the blame we feel towards others for causing our mental and emotional unrest – and, wow, do I like to resist! – the good news is that this means we ultimately control our inner life.
Care to try a short experiment? Join me in this 9-minute metta (loving kindness) meditation and discover how quickly you can find your way to some of that inner peace we all seek. It may not be the miracle you and I hope for, but it is miraculous all the same. And finding that inner peace, is how we begin the journey to create the outer peace.