Category Archives: Truth
Day of Vesak is a UN recognized holiday to commemorate the birth, enlightenment, and death of Siddhartha Gautama, more commonly known as Buddha. Buddha lived in present-day India and Nepal between the sixth and fourth century BCE. His teachings focused on messages about compassion, peace and goodwill, lessons we can all observe whether we identify as Buddhist or not.
May 1st marks Global Love Day, a day established in 2004 by The Love Foundation. It is a day meant to celebrate the wisdom of universal peace and love. It’s a great day to practice unconditional love for yourself as well as others. Be aware of your inner critic. Rather than ignore what the inner critic has to say, look at what it is saying without bias. Accept the truth of your own humanity and the humanity of others around us. Reframe any “negative” thoughts in a more positive way. Practice meeting anger with love. Recognize that although we are all different, we are all part of a greater whole and our diversity makes us stronger. Live and love without fear today.
On this beautiful Earth Day, I enjoyed a workshop with the wonderful Alie McManus. During our closing meditation, part of what we focused on was planting a seed for what we want to grow. Today is a perfect day to plant a seed for our future, both literally and metaphorically.
Take a moment today and imagine what you would most like to see happen in your life, in your world. Incorporate it into your meditation. Live like it is already a reality. See what happens.
With love and light,
April 4 is the anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
In 2009, Victims of Violence Holy Day was established as the 2nd of three Emancipation Days of Respect that honor those who’ve sacrificed to the change the laws of segregation in America as well as supporting those who’ve suffered at the hands of slavery and violence.
While we think of slavery and segregation as something in the distant past, racism and slavery (especially in the form of human trafficking) are all still very real today. It is up to each of us to examine the misguided fear of “others” that we all feel sometimes and remember that we are all more alike than different. We cannot let fear and intolerance overtake us.
In peace and unity,
The gentle soul that was Fred Rogers was born on this day, March 20, 1928. Although he has been gone since 2003, his message of loving acceptance of ourselves and others continues through the work of the Fred Rogers Center and the Fred Rogers Company.
I was born in 1970, just two years after Mister Rogers Neighborhood and one year after Sesame Street began airing, and both shows deeply influenced me. In particular, I loved Mr. Rogers because he never spoke down to anyone and he never shied away from how challenging life could be. But he made it seem like kindness was possible and everything would work out as it should.
So today, I challenge you in even the most trying situations to demonstrate a little kindness and respect for yourself and for your fellow human beings.
National Freedom of Information Day is celebrated on the birth date of President James Madison, known as the father of the U.S. Constitution. Madison was a champion of openness in the U.S. government as well as individual rights. To that end, he was one of the main authors of the Bill of Rights, as the first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution are known.
What can you do to celebrate?
- Learn how to separate fact from fiction in the news and stay informed by subscribing to a reputable news source either online or in print (hint: they have educated writers and fact checkers and everything!);
- Support your local library;
- Visit the Government Printing Office for resources and information; and
- Know who your representatives are and feel free to contact them with questions, concerns and support/opposition to specific legislation.
A democracy only works as it should when we all stay informed and take part.
May we all be free,
February 15 is Susan B. Anthony Day, a day to commemorate the birth of Susan B. Anthony and women’s suffrage in the United States. Anthony was an abolitionist, suffragist, writer, speaker, and political leader whose tireless energy and activism led to the passage of the 19th Amendment giving all American women the right to vote.
I could take this opportunity to get into a long discussion of women’s rights and women’s history (which are actually human rights and human history), the nature of equality, and a whole host of topics that can invite controversy. Maybe at some point I will offer up those discussions (full disclosure: I have a B.A. in political science with minors in English and women’s studies), but for now I would like to encourage folks to take a couple of actions: embrace education and get compassionately involved. It’s easy to say, “Be the change,” but it is another thing entirely to do it and to do it with compassion.
Democracy is a wonderful and gloriously messy affair. The U.S. Constitution is a brilliant document. Try your knowledge and see if you can pass a citizenship test. If you want to better understand how government works, find a local citizens government academy like this one, or take a course online or at a nearby college. Get to know who your representatives are and contact them about issues that are important to you. And vote, vote, vote, vote, vote. Vote locally, not just nationally. The only vote that doesn’t count is the one that isn’t cast.
For those wondering how politics can relate to yoga or think I shouldn’t talk about it on my blog, you are certainly entitled to your opinion or can choose to ignore this post. But here’s why I don’t think this is out of place: from my 20 years of doing yoga, I have found that yogis as a group are generally thoughtful, compassionate people. And aren’t those the kind of people we need more of in the world?
Stepping off my soap box for now,
Frederick Douglass was born February 1818, as a slave named Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey. He died 77 years later as a abolitionist, suffragist, author, editor, statesman, and a free man.
An adamant believer in the equality of all people regardless of gender, race, or nationality, Douglass was a tireless reformer and activist. He understood that emancipation and equality required persistent and forceful activism. He also understood that activism does not preclude being able to reach across ideological and other divides to establish dialogue saying, “I would unite with anybody to do right; and with nobody to do wrong.”
Let’s establish dialogues where we can, keep moving forward, and remember that we are all on the same ship together; we are all one.
February 6 is Bob Marley’s birthday. Here’s a re-working of one his songs by Playing for Change featuring Bob Marley and his son Stephen.
It’s Groundhog Day here in the U.S. — that weird holiday where we let a giant rodent predict how many more weeks of winter we will have. While I’m obviously a bit skeptical about the pretense of the day, I like the movie Groundhog Day.
For good or bad, our lives our not the like movies and we don’t get the chance to replay the same day over and over again until we gain insight into ourselves and what’s important in life. We have to do the hard work of self-study every day. Every day we get to make a choice about how to live to honor our true Self.
Be true to who you are, today and every day. Don’t be afraid to examine what’s in the light and what’s in the shadows.