By Pashupa Goodwin on Thursday, July 14, 2016
Namaste holy being, and welcome to the NEW Jivamukti International website! This has been a labor of love (and frustration) for months, and it is not quite finished. But today I want to talk about something else that has been weighing on my heart.
As the web editor for Jivamukti Yoga, part of my job is to represent Jivamukti Yoga through the wisdom of our founders & teachers, Sharon Gannon & David Life. The deepest teachings of yoga they share are based in compassion, and rooted in the yamas. Not to harm others, not to be dishonest. Not to steal from others, nor to misuse sexuality in a way that causes hurt. Not to take more than what you need.
Jivamukti has moved through some hard times this year. Accusations have been made that we have not been able to respond to publicly because of the ways the legal world operates. The word cult has falsely and sensationally been used against us to gain clicks online, tarnishing our name on google searches.
We are a spiritual community made up of human beings. Even the wisest and dearest of teachers are embodied beings. No choice any of us make is perfect, even when we strive for integrity and perfection. We are like mirrors in a kaleidoscope, each with a unique perspective colored by the environment we all share. To find compassion, we must step into the role of other, with discerning imagination and infinite love. We must forgive, even when it seems we have been treated unfairly. And in turn, we should ask forgiveness when we cause harm. Please forgive my teachers, my satsang, and I, wherever we have fallen short.
There are those among us who will always want to destroy a community that thrives and teaches truth. On social media people hiding behind their avatars, many of whom have never set foot inside of a Jivamukti Yoga class, feel empowered to slander us. We are just a microcosm, it happens all over the internet. The Internet is a tool that can be used to unite or to create separation.
I write these words not from a place of despair but from an honest belief in who we are and what we stand for. I believe the truth of our message stands on its own, coming from a long lineage of holy beings inspired by love. We will weather this storm and become stronger and more self-aware. From the darkest trials come the most nourishing transformations.
Let us join together to start a new chapter. Yesterday we launched this new International website to serve our teachers, studios, and community. On September 10th the new Jivamukti Yoga documentary What is Real will premiere in NYC. Please stay in our lives and continue to give us feedback so we can serve you with our hearts & actions. If you find someone making negative comments about us (or anyone else) online, I ask that you do not respond in anger but compassionately speak your truth. Be the love that you want to see in the world.
Jivamukti Yoga Web Editor