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Sharon Gannon Featured in Yoga Journal China, April 2020

Taking Yoga to the Next Level: Spiritual Activation

Originally published by Yoga Journal China, April 2020

 

 

sarva mangala-mangalye shive-sarvatha-sadhike,

sharanye trayambake gauri narayani namosthute

Salute the divine mother, who brings total auspiciousness and who fulfills the desire for liberation. Realization arises with her blessing. She is the world itself. Only through the experiences of life can the soul be perfected. Honor this gift from Mother Nature, this opportunity, which is your life.

 

All of life is sacred. The highest purpose of life is to seek enlightenment. Yoga is the enlightened state. Enlightenment is the realization of the Oneness of Being. The realization of the Oneness of Being is the perception of the interconnected and interdependent nature of all forms of life on earth. The practices emphasize our relationship to all of life, because only when the relationship is mutually beneficial is there an opportunity for the healing of the dis-ease of disconnect. Yoga is a peaceful, practical philosophy leading to the perfection of relationship and mutually enhancing connection to all creatures and things. Compassion is the means to prefect our relationship with others, bringing about the realization of the inter-connectedness of all of life, this is what it means to live liberated; as a jivanmukta.

Our inner life creates our outer environment. When our inner state is refined, we become spiritually activated and we see the vibrant calmness of our soul reflected in the lives of others in the world around us. Yoga teaches us how interdependent we are. How we treat the world will determine how the world treats us. As yoga practitioners we cannot be content to live in our own little I-Me-Mine yoga bubble while the rest of the world deteriorates.

 

 

We are in the midst of a global crisis; we human beings are causing it and most of us are totally unaware that we are causing it and/or that we are in a crisis. There is only a small fraction of human beings who are aware of this crisis.

Yoga provides us with tools to transform our perception; the change we wish to see in the world, must start inside of each one of us. We must reinvent ourselves and find a way to Think, Live, Breath, Speak, Eat, Create, as well as shelter, clothe and transport ourselves, so that our entire presence enhances the world and all of its creatures as opposed to degrading and destroying it. To do this demands that we see all of life as sacred, not disposable and not existing for our exploitation. This is spiritual activation this is spiritual activism.

The fundamental premise of the yoga practice is to act in such a manner where we are fully aware of the existing conditions but rather than complain, blame and find fault we instead create a new, joyous and harmonious way of living which would enhance the environment as well as the lives of all other beings. Yoga philosophy supports physical, energetic, and spiritual activism that promotes environmental health, human rights, animal rights, veganism and peaceful co-existence with Divine Mother Nature.

Now while we still have some choices left, let us choose to be kind to others, let us look to the happiness, well-being and liberation of others and in that searching we will find our own happiness, well-being and liberation.