I have created a Yoga and Spirituality Hub on the People’s Climate March website for
Yogis and spiritual seekers – let’s join together to create the high vibration “Yoga & Spirituality Contingent” at the planet’s first ever People’s Climate March this September 21 in NYC! www.peoplesclimate.org/yogaandspirituality
One of the main tenets of yoga is ahimsa – the practice of non-violence and non-harming. For thousands of years, yogis and spiritual seekers have studied and followed this ethical principle. As present-day yoga and spiritual practitioners, we continue to study and shape our lives based on ahimsa. Because we understand that the material and spiritual worlds, mind and matter, are connected, we seek non-violence not only in our actions, but also in our words and thoughts. We seek to live in harmonious alignment with one another and Nature.
As such, we cannot ignore the great harms being inflicted upon the Earth and our fellow sentient beings (whether they are personally known to us or not) as a result of man-made climate change. Such harms include the loss of human, animal, and marine lives, as well as damage to property, due to extreme weather patterns, super storms, drought, floods, fires, receding glaciers, and the rising levels and acidification of the oceans.
Climate change is linked to the Industrial Age – present day increase of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere, which is linked to industrialization and the burning of fossil fuels. Many extreme methods are currently being used to extract such fossil fuels from the Earth. Such extreme energy extraction practices include explosive mountain-top removal for coal; “fracking” for methane gas by exploding chemicals, sand and our precious fresh-water into shale rock; and tar sands oil mining. Drilling by-products, such as toxic frack waste water, are injected deep into the earth through injection drilling wells – linked to toxic water contamination and earthquakes. These methods are acts of violence against the Earth, and clearly not in harmony with the natural world.
Yoga means “union” and “to join” in Sanskrit. Yogis recognize the underlying unity of life on Earth. When leaking gas and oil wells pollute groundwater, contaminate farms, and poison animals, we are all harmed. When an oil rig explodes in the Gulf of Mexico, an oil tanker sinks in Alaska, or a gas well leaks methane and chemicals into a Pennsylvania farmer’s water well, we are all negatively affected – no matter how far we may be living from those communities’ devastation. This is because we see one’s Self in all beings, and we feel compassion for the suffering of others.
And so, at this pivotal time in history, we are called to protect Mother Earth through our karma yoga or seva– compassionate, selfless service to others and the common good. By volunteering and joining the People’s Climate March, we are joining a movement and a cause greater than ourselves. With consciousness and compassion for all, we seek to spread the principles of non-violence to the planet. We seek a sustainable and safe energy policy from our governments, the United Nations, and countries all over the world. And we seek a life-sustaining society for ourselves and for future generations.
Our current way of life and corporate-influenced government energy policies are no longer life-sustaining. The rapid clear cutting of our forests, and the slashing and burning of our planet’s rainforests are resulting in the rapid loss of our Earth’s “lungs” and the mass extinction of species. Our planet’s pollinators – bees, Monarch butterflies, birds and bats are currently being threatened and dying off. Water sources are polluted by man-made toxins and chemicals – many a by-product of the fossil-fuel industry’s extraction practices. There is rapid depletion of our natural resources, leading to population displacement, starvation, and wars. Agricultural areas are reduced. Plastic debris (made from oil and gas) pollutes our oceans. Island nations are at risk due to rising sea levels. Carcinogens, such as benzene, and other volatile organic compounds pollute the air near fracking sites, causing major health issues and emotional trauma.
Because we understand the interconnectedness of life, we cannot accept this devastation to our planet as the status quo. We know this is the time of a global shift in consciousness: the understanding that all is one, and everything is connected. We see that science is beginning to support spirituality in that regard, and vice versa.
So on this historic day, we come from spiritual centers, sanghas, and yoga studios all over the world in defense of Mother Earth and all her inhabitants. We yogis and spiritual seekers will gather mindfully and peacefully in New York City, focusing our energies together in seeking an enlightened future!
This is the spiritual revolution of our generation. The evolutionary shift has begun. Let’s join together September 21, 2014, and take our spiritual practice off the yoga mats and meditation cushions and bring it to the People’s Climate March!
May the light of all truth overcome all darkness; may the Universe be filled with peace, joy, love, and light – Jai!
Melissa “Mati” Elstein
Good Energy Movement and Wellness
Aug. 19, 2014