As Swami Nirmalananda said, “Silence too is its own language.” Part of this lesson is that when silent, we are holding space to listen, learn and integrate. But during global crisis, silence speaks volumes, and not in ways that support.
In the current plight of people of colour, silence is not an option. It shows privilege and apathy – a way to spiritually bypass and skirt prominent issues. More importantly, it’s not a choice of compassion.
As such, we will state unequivocally, Black Lives Matter.
Jivamukti Yoga is founded on finding steadiness and joy and speaking up for those without a voice. Sharon Gannon often says that if it were not for activism, Jivamukti Yoga may not have happened. It’s woven into our Method and our dharma to stand up and speak up against injustice. We have celebrated this as a theme at Tribe Gathering. We studied it last month in our Focus of the Month. Spiritual activism is part of our ethos. We are activism. We are Jivamukti Yoga.
Our Method holds Ahimsa as one of our five pillars – non-violence. If we stand for a non-violent existence, then we must stand against violence towards anyone. Ahimsa includes activism. People of colour are being targeted and murdered. People of colour are disproportionately burdened with the fear and stress that accompany daily discrimination. We must listen. We must educate ourselves. And we must act.
Sharon Gannon and David Life taught us that all beings are Holy beings. This means that Black Lives Matter. To our students and teachers of color, we see you, we support you, and we stand with you now. We stand with the families of George Floyd, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, Breonna Taylor, Stephon Clark, Philando Castile, Alton Sterling, Walter Scott, Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, and black lives lost prior, and those now losing their lives fighting on the front lines to ensure we make history and dismantle these racist behaviours for good.
The conversation has been long overdue on the worldwide scale it has finally reached. We must use our voice for change, and we must be staunchly anti-racist.
Our lives are our yoga practice. As such, we proceed with curiosity and compassion.
We will listen deeply. For at least the next few days, we will provide space in feeds for more prominent voices in the Black Lives Matter movement to be heard and relevant resources to be seen.
We will help you be louder. We will share resource lists on social media and on our own website and provide you our platform and social media channels – to help amplify the voices and communities of colour who need to be heard now.
We will learn from and with you. We are working with our facilitators and community and resources to compile panels and lectures to bring this plight to the forefront of visibility. It is not up to people of color to educate us; it is up to us to seek the information and share it. And we will make these available to you for free on our channels.
We always welcome the chance for dialogue. Please tag us on social media. Please reply with the resources that we can share.
Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu.