Category Archives: yoga and politics

I Can’t Breathe

Exploding canisters

We are all suffocating

Tears pouring

As autocracy creeps

ky-lousiville-0529-4-1440 george loyd protest

Need a minute to get my breath

Some space

Some breathing room

 

Peaceful protesters flushed like roaches

Trump declares he needs no Governor’s blessing to bring them to their knees

On their knees they will have to look up

To him

He sets his flag for fascism

 

Breathtaking

Breathless

Relentless

Get off my neck!

Heavy metal death roar

This weight on my chest

 

Respirator, intubate, oxygen tank, hospital bed, mask

I can’t breathe

Wearing this mask

Anxious

Virus Violent

 

Permit to carry anywhere anytime

Weapons unmasked

Endangered cops and itchy triggers

Psychopath cops excuse to murder

Insanity

War

Smoke

Tear gas

 

In Nashville, my corner

Funnel cloud first

Dust storm next

Smashed sheet rock and ink dyed paper sheets

Scarred the air

Shelter in place, the virus is hunting you

Then the storm

Power out

For days

Hoarded frozen food to stay in for days now useless

What good was preparing for dearth?

 

You don’t know what’s coming

 

Black and White make black and white

Not gray today

Let Black have its day

 

The under loved rightly rage while

Savage Supremacists

stain

Intercept, interfere, interface

Time Square cleared for months by THE VIRUS

Teems with righteous indignation

 

Across the country

Tainted by anarchy placed and paid

Looters

Ruiners

Devastate the innocent and already broken

Misplaced misery

Monsters for hire

 

Being Black means no space

To mourn together

Protest together

Rise together

Yoga, ”The practice of the last breath

Is not enough.

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Let My People Go

Dictator runs the narrative, threatens, fires, lies and fury.

Controls the coffers, flogs his servants, incites the faithful, degrades the women, emasculates the men.

He is the sum of himself and his minions. Minions enable the one.

Without that symbiosis the dictator would perish. That parasite needs a host.

Like the VIRUS.

He is he and the sum of his parasites. The host is a shell once called a party.

Republican.

Greed, lust, disregard for the under gloried.

He is Pharaoh.

They are Pharaoh.

Hoards stockpiles of life saving devices in the temple

Those are for the privileged.

The under worthy can silently suffocate alone.

 

Who cares, thinks Pharaoh?

If they care now he banks on them forgetting when he puts a few dollars in their pockets and promises the moon.

 

He is/ they are corrupted Israelites on the radar of one Jesus.

The wealth worshipers.

Wealth is power.

Extra is power.

Time to remember.

At dinner.

At church.

Hunting eggs.

Or matzoh.

 

God threatened to kill the children.

Of the flock that wrongly enslaved and imprisoned.

Release them from bondage or the first born is killed.

And God killed his first and only.

Made him a martyr.

Guilt.

 

He died for you. Now it’s pay back time cause you didn’t get the message.

You weren’t humble.

You worshiped money.

Hoarded.

Abandoned values.

Didn’t notice, didn’t care.

 

Years slide by.

 

Injuries add up.

Poison the earth for a buck.

Flog ourselves to everlasting labor.

Enslaved to the dollar,

Owned by the man, the landlord, the lender,

Over step and step over.

Money will make us immune.

 

Well I’ll grant you it can help

like that fat lipid surrounding the Covid 19 virus.

Their are some shields;

 

Better healthcare, education,

the privilege of space to surround one’s fortress.

But no!

No one is exempt.

The innocent and the guilty will go when

their time is up.

Time.

What will we do when it is ours again?

Will we re step into the ashen streams

Slumber under brown smog skies?

 

 

 

 

 

Dump stockpiles of pesticides back on our food?

Ignore the poor?

Disable the ignorant?

What will we do with our time?

How can we people go

without a path to freedom.

Don’t tell me it’s the next life,

the afterlife.

Tell me something real.

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The Earth Breathes and Nature Runs Free on a Pandemic Morning.

Do we need to lose our breath for the Earth to get hers?

Will the sky appear in China without industry?

What is India without a car’s exhaust?

Will the animals come back if the hunters stand down?

Will the plants reappear if the clear-cutters are laid up?

I drive down the road and remember the Nashville I love.

Traded Los Angeles for a place more small town than city almost thirty years ago. Because of us it became a city. Ironic.

Now small town charm hangs in the air like a friendly ghost.

Space and intimacy are  precious.

One fights to sustain.

We live in tiny tribes separated by things unfamiliar but not unpleasant.

We can buy anything, eat anything.

We can go to music venues morning to night.

Existence means some things are exchanged for others.

And we still find one another.

It just takes more effort.

Effort is good when it’s done with optimism. It’s not bad.

But I notice in this empty space that my optimism was a dwindling resource.

You know what I mean.

Last year I read a study out of England that declared loneliness to be the worst disease of our time.

It kills people.

You see? Social distancing is not new.

Are we at one end of a pendulum’s swing?

Is this Covid monstrosity the full tilt?

Will anything change as we emerge gray haired and naked before each other some time from now?

Still breathing for now.

Listening to the quiet.

Few cars drive down this street these days.

Every day is the third day of vacation.

It’s the fourth day when one succumbs to the reality that this life is not that life.

My time is my own.

What will I do to enjoy it?

.

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Hazmat Suit Sleep

It’s the end of the life that we knew.

We’ll have to make a new one.

Nature is shaking us from our torpor.

Shaking harder I should say. Many of us have felt her urgent hand before.

Some of us will not wake up.

In the kosha layers of Ayurveda the human body is the last thing to feel disease. It comes from disturbance in the field of planetary agitation, emotion, mind and yes, breath.

Earth, you’ve got my attention. I will attend.

Like anyone, you want to be heard.

I hear you.

I see you Corona Virus. Respect for your massive power.

Now please leave us alone.

 

My eyes close at 9:00 P.M.

Sitting in front of the television.

I have no purpose. No schedule. Like some of you. I take myself to bed to rise at midnight despite the struggle to stay unconscious. I imagine prisoners of war. John McCain shows up. He’s young and brave and handsome looking up through a bamboo cage stuck in a hole in the ground.

He’s showing me that sanity now is a choice.

Why him? He’s not the first guy in my playlist of favorites but you don’t choose who visits from beyond.

Merlin, our new puppy will wake me at dawn, my favorite time of day.

Until now.

Willed to the mattress till the first bird sings had been my way. A lack of sleep made no difference. Joyous to fling myself smiling from the bed as my husband soundly slept. Grateful for another day, the sweet foam on my coffee. The peace of being the lone one at my kitchen island taking in the morning news.

Merlin’s sharp teeth and happy paws disrupt my Hazmat suit dreams today. I think I got back to this bed just hours ago. He and Layla, my sweet hound, beat the walls with anticipant tails that herald a delightful day.

Always new. Always hopeful.

I am exhausted.

I think, I’ve got time to make steel cut oats. It takes a half hour. Ha Ha. Why is that still surprising? Coat the pot with Ghee, boil the water with sea salt, add chopped dates with the oats. Sprinkle toasted pecans and dark maple syrup. Feed my husband and son something healthy, something happy, something lucky to have in the ever present rainy gray gloom.

I do a headstand in the living room. Wait for the upside down to get real. Land with clarity. In the upside down life is interesting. And it goes on.

Write this post. Figure out Venmo and Zoom meetings and send resumes for the future. Clean the closets already cleaned before. Clean out this old filing cabinet.

Call friends in California today. Seems a bit of an underachievement.

Call the bank and change my auto pays. Think about how to get unemployment for my part time but constant work of over a dozen years at Vanderbilt. Corporate America turned its backs on those of us paid the least at the esteemed University. What bullshit.

Note to self. Care less.

Some of my clients will buy a Facebook Portal. We will do virtual classes. Three books unfinished beckon.

I’ve planted hyacinth to bloom next year, weeded beds, fertilized and mulched with my youngest son.

The Crabapples are a canopy of white petals. Daffodils are still smiling under blooming Redbuds as the tulips prepare to burst. The wisteria I’ve sculpted on the front lawn is ready to break out. Our bluebirds are building a new nest. The woodpeckers on the feeder don’t know it’s a new world.

It is for us to nurture, to love, to protect and honor all of us.

To seek truth in the smokescreen,

To make sense of truth.

To act in truth for a better life.

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Ashes, Ashes We All Fall Down

 

Notre Dame is burning down lamented my husband’s friend as he walked through the door.

I thought, so what?

Wreckage is the current state of affairs: Our financial institutions, our governing institutions, our crops, our creatures, our home. Flames lick our boots. An architectural feat now a crypt of old stones is just going to be rubble with the rest anyway. Save your thoughts and prayers.  Wooden building blocks of porous words decay by insidious slow seepage of poison on all that are holy. We are the destroyers.

Les Miserables return to France’s streets screaming for bread, incensed by the bounty promised to rebuild a cathedral that might better serve the underclass. French leaders say Notre Dame’s tourist money will bring them the cash they are seeking but that promise is built on hollow scaffolding. Here in Nashville, the empowered have been selling the city off to the highest bidders ruining the quality of life for the greater population who never see a dollar from relocated businesses or tourist trade. We live in cement. We sit in traffic, pay higher real estate taxes on places we don’t want to leave. We lose each other in the density.

The sheer exhaustion of trying to be a person on the planet run by two headed monsters these days overdraws the bank that holds principles.  One head tells sweet lies while the other dictates destruction. Checks and balances no long teeter but lock the good guys out. Words shouted down a black tunnel declare all dark equal and nuance irrelevant. That which floats to the surface is declared scum in the worst of nations that we are becoming in the not united states of America. Submerge the light! Beautiful monuments, testaments of our passion for beauty dot so many cities under siege. They are not large enough to shadow the arduous existence of the average guy.

Doves of peace are released at our funerals and shot to kingdom come by hunters.

Billboards line the highway from Chattanooga to Nashville Tennessee. Yesterday I passed a sign preaching God and the next selling firearms. “Jesus is Alive” followed by a picture of a gun and “Silencers are Legal”. God and death and you know they are sold by the same lot. Any foreigner driving down this road would say these people are crazy. Let’s get out of here. Though I’ve been here for 27 years I am one of those foreigners.

But where would I go? Where would we go? That’s the question for most of the world these days? The flames engulf us.

Here a street fighter who Trumps the free world is a rat man a rat roach crafty swamp dweller.  Half the country closes its eyes as it sways to the illiterate spin topping the charts.   They are the weakest or most corruptible. He knew how to enslave them. He sought them out. They will believe what he wants them to believe. What they want to believe. “Come into the beautiful roach hotel. It is a palace I made for you because I love you. I am one of you. Come in, come in … and die before you realize what I did to betray you.”

He is Quasimodo swinging from the burning bell tower. He needs to be loved. He will do anything to be loved.

Tax and abortion are the Right Wing causes of a posse of self imprisoned Republicans. Are those leaders so tethered to unborn life that it’s no matter that that life drink toxic water, eat fatal food, perhaps live addicted or in juvie or maybe no worse and no better than foster care or homeless shelters for those that cannot make ends meet?

What proportionality allows one to sob over a building and turn a blind eye to the destruction of life around them? What value demands an unwanted or unhealthy life be born into a cruel existence? What logic allows one percent of the life to have a surplus while others starve and toil? Lower taxes on the rich have always been the opium that makes illogical mad hatters of those that choose myopia anyway.

I am saddened by the sight of this fiery annihilation. Even the abominable broken pile of stone and rubble that is Trump saddens me. But he is nature corrupted and a monument to the power of that nature in all its fury and distortion to survive, to mutate and infect that around it to mutate as well. We are awestruck by human potential in the cathedral but we are also awestruck by human potential that cannot be conquered or restrained no matter its devilish intent.

Leave the charred skeleton of the cathedral to remind us of that. Let history in its tortured truth stand. We the people need shock and awe to continue beyond a press cycle if we are to implement change. We do not need to be falsely comfortable or comforted. History for some has relevance only as it pertains to sentimentality.

But the time of reckoning has come.

 

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The Animals are Watching

I woke at dawn as I usually do. And forced myself back to sleep. It’s Sunday and I’m working on relaxing. Respite in bed is not a reprieve for me but today it came easily.

My dog, used to my habits, came at our usual time. She climbed onto the bed where she’d been allowed once when a vertigo event triggered anxiety that only my warm puppy could abate.

Now she drank thirstily from the cool stream that was strangely swiftly flowing through a crevice behind my neck.

Alarmed, I rolled away from the warm comfort of my sleeping husband and rushed out of bed to the kitchen as usual to turn on the kettle and looked out the window.

Hilary Lindsay

The gentle slope from the terrace up the hill was a flooded field. The bird feeders hovered over submerged poles. And the field was patterned in stripes of black and white softened with brown that revealed a congregation of wild creatures sitting terrifyingly still with their heads just above the rising water facing me, my house, a silent call.

We are in trouble. We are waiting for help.

Herons, cranes, deer, even a monkey came into focus as I stood frozen.  The monkey rose from the water, writhed and slashed and struggled to move and I thought monkeys might not know how to swim.  They will die. They are dying. There are so many. They are wild and alien and yet they’ve come to us like they are domestic, part of this house.

I ran to the bedroom calling my husband. You need to come. It doesn’t matter if you are tired. Get up you need to see this.

It had just begun to rain. Again.

And I woke up.

Yesterday Elizabeth Warren announced and all I could hear was the word “fight”. Big money, unfairness in cash, race, …. Shift I screamed to her. Don’t talk about health care talk about the planet, the food, the water, the raped land. Talk about the poison we are ingesting. Tell us we are an extension of all and they us and if we are to survive we have to eliminate our toxic overlords. The toxin is greed. They give us charity to save us from cancer while they make us cancerous. They give us medicine for all the disease they cause us so all we do is worry and band aid our shaking, limping mutated bodies and stay alive though it’s a half life. Talk about rebuilding community, eliminating loneliness, feeding and educating everyone.

Get these damn guns out of here. In this town children are snatching them from open cars. Where are the parents? Are they made useless by despair? Have they given up, the invisible till their spawn end up on the evening news?

Another press cycle begins as the crippled make the tedious trudge to the next presidential election. Will we notice the deflation, the anemia, dementia of ourselves as we make the choices that guide us forward? We are distracted by the affairs of weak men.  We are guided to look away from the big picture to little pictures about little people and their pathetic or natural proclivities that are perhaps the worst of us.

Still, we go forward in small ways, in anonymity. This is as it should be and always was. We don’t need a megaphone and a platform to show us that.

But as the most powerful nation on earth influences the other superpowers that govern these small lives in our separate, intimate communal, we are bowled over, drowning in the sound and vibration of the doom broadcast through the sound and visual waves we flounder in, the undertow.

I know why the creatures came to me as the rain began to fall again. They are me and I am them and they and I know it.

 

Can’t you feel that too?

 

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Don’t Trust the Status Quo. Trust the Possibilities.

You’re tired. You stay up to catch up and tired turns to over tired. You close your eyes but can’t unwind. I have a way to trick my mind toward rainbows and kittens. So called sleep experts say stay away from screens when you wake up in the middle of the night but they obviously know nothing about the power of television programming on the unconscious. Deep breathing while thrashing in bed just pisses me off. I need Shark Tank where dreams come true.

 

Hello morning news that tells me fast food restaurants are going up in Nashville as fast as the food they make.  That’s how they put it. Look how progressive Nashville is. Slow people eating fast food. Let another day begin. We can fight about health care while we choke down cheap meats.

 

Dawn light’s silver beams stunningly sweep the steel surfaces of the massive structures that now line the city road linking plantation memories to town.  Steely towers replace wood poles for wires that cross the tangled sky. To hide them underground would cost money better spent on what I wonder?

Sleep drunk drivers clog the passing lane of Nashville’s pot hole neglected inner city speedway like sociopaths.  Swerving semis hold their ground ignorant or insolent to my flashing lights. Why are so many trucks on this road? They must be part of the construction boom turning an unplanned town into a short sighted city. It’s the middle of the day. A 15 minute ride will double like most days. I’m forced below the speed limit. I could change lanes but they are covered like packed pay parking lots that dot downtown. Comatose drivers are weapons against humanity. My radar is tuned for disaster. My car finds a hole and darts like a fugitive running from the law with nothing to lose. I thread through the exodus like Pacman.

This is the cost of progress.  Traffic and crime are not compensated by the understaffed overpriced overrated restaurants or crowded crappy cluster homes popping up on treeless ground to enclose the herds of newcomers who will not have room on the street to park their cars. Progress is for profiteers.

 

Nashville was number six in the country for rising heat index a few years ago. We hadn’t even gotten started shoveling humans into bird houses on treeless lots.  Replaced nature with cement. Made the cement mixer the state bird and sold the once peaceful state park as an attraction. Opportunists saw a good buy in. They don’t live here but they own here and what do they care about the quality of life that will be a renter’s headache?

 

We don’t bother with infrastructure. We don’t zone. We don’t regulate. If you’ve got the cash, we’ve got a lot you can mow down.   Let freedom ring.

 

I don’t recognize this two lane country road today that connects Franklin to Brentwood. It’s been clear cut since I was here two weeks ago. Oh screw trees anyway. They’re just a fire hazard. Look at the Redwoods in California! We don’t want problems like that here. We live in a basin that holds smog. A slow death from carbon monoxide is more subtle, more Southern.

Sleep drunk drivers sling swaying loads across the broken lines. I just like that line so I put it in. And also, I’m obsessed with zombie drivers on crowded streets. I don’t dare ride my bike anymore lest one of the undead raises a cell phone beside my narrow lane. Or maybe they’re on an Ambien ride.  Or maybe they’re just high. Do the opiate addicted masses drive cars around town? I have no idea but I’m not taking chances.

 

It’s good to stay put. The best nights are dinner parties with friends anyway.  You do need a place for friends to park. But your friends are less visible in the expanse now. Friendship is no longer a contact sport. It’s easy to lose track of people who aren’t in your immediate world. There are so many immediate worlds to navigate these days, some of them virtual but nonetheless exhausting. We are not our World War II parent’s generation who put a premium on civility and social skills maintaining relationships even when challenged. We don’t have to. No one expects it.

 

I’m from the last generation to know life before and after the internet and cell phones. Once our memories are gone there will be no others who know both. There will be no others who consciously crossed over. The impressions here are pressed into type to preserve the outrage that my generation made famous. 

We can’t trust that the existing state of affairs is acceptable. There are not as many legal limits to killing us as we expect from the keepers of a loving country. If it takes a village, it takes a village of individuals who have done due diligence. It takes a village willing to shift when the wind smells like sulfur.

 

 

 

 

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Is Your Relationship to Your Fellow Man Making You Sick?

Five thirty A.M. the reporters at NPR assault me with the news of the deadliest mass shooting in our history. I am awake.

My tired mind forces a memory scan. Who do I know in Vegas this week? It seems just yesterday my friend Holly said she is going there for something. Shit. Was it this week?

Disaster comes upon disaster, one shoved down as the other surfaces coming with more and more frequency.  The Trump disaster overshadows all. Hope is slipping.

The webinar I watched on Alzheimer’s hits my frontal lobe. The doctor listed the places on earth called Blue Zones where people have the least medical issues including Alzheimer’s. In the U.S. there is one place. It is Loma Linda California. He says it is not any particular diet as much as a clean diet devoid of alcohol and smoking that keeps them healthy but there is more than that. There is community. Love and charity prevail not instigated by crisis but on a regular basis. It is the basis.

We cannot thrive on a daily diet of grief. The stress is killing us as fast as fast food, climate disasters and drug overdoses. Stress corrodes the brain.

We live in a war zone. We are at war with each other. We are at war with our President. We are at war with our own failings.

My husband notes on shooting a documentary about Trump supporters that the commonality is the question, what about me? He perceives an overarching narcissism that trumps empathy.

Put on your own oxygen mask before your children’s. Who doesn’t know that? You need to love yourself before you can love someone else. That’s common knowledge too, right? Charity begins at home. We are advised to look after ourselves in order to become. But how do we know what is too much charity and what is too much self interest.

After all, for true self interest we should be concerned as much with the people around us as ourselves. They are our environment. They are the fabric of our lives.

There is a social implication of controlling others or overwhelming them which is described in the yoga text, Yoga Sutras as bramacharya. This does not define dictatorship versus charity but allows us to consider staying in our own lane either way. However bramacharya does not stand alone. It co-exists with a call to kindness, generosity and contentment with oneself and one’s lot.

 Insecurity is the enemy.

Are we stuck between those that wonder what about us and those that worry what about me? Do we rail against what seems an extreme of one or the other? There is so much need for those outside our pack and also so much instinct to gather the loved ones and shut the door.

A Pakistani Muslim friend of mine daughter started kindergarten this year. She invited the class to her daughter’s birthday party and only a handful of people responded and came. She found out another girl whose invitations went out later had a party the same day and that’s where most of the class had gone. They hadn’t invited her daughter and they hadn’t responded to her invitation though the policy at school is for invites to go through the school and to everyone. My friend had an emotional crisis. Why was her daughter shunned? And then she got sicker than she’s ever been. She tells me it’s the flu and she felt like she was dying.

I write this because it seems a metaphor for all our sickness, this social disease. This dis-ease.     My friend is used to a strong community. She is an outsider here. What does this do to our bodies?

Today another person went off the rails and unloaded bullets into strangers. We don’t know why yet. There will be demands for better mental health screening, for gun control and for tightening up against terrorism if they find any links to a terrorist group outside the U.S. I doubt any of it will successfully happen.

Human beings need a chance to work a job that allows them to care for themselves and their children. We need to be educated. We need to eat and drink cleanly. We need to have fun. We need time to have fun. We need to live a life beyond survival. We need time and space to be charitable. We need friends and family who are not crazy to care about us. We need to feel secure.

Tech life allows us to find new avenues of isolation and rudeness.  The benefits of information at a fingertip seem small compared to the disruption of our social lives. There’s no turning back but there has to be some measure of discernment and that is the problem. There is no true north. That star there? It’s fake. It’s that easy to dismiss something that is accurate.

We are untethered. Fact has become opinion even to its face. There is no moral anchor. Where will it come from? I don’t know. I know for a student of yoga the moral restraints and observances as described in the Sutras is a useful checklist, as useful as any commandment from the bible.

If it seems I’m saying that yoga will save us think again. I know lots of morally bankrupt yoga folks. No one is exempt from hypocrisy. This is a think piece. I’m thinking out loud. Hope it gives you something to consider about yourself as it does for me. And if want to read the basis of modern yoga’s moral system, this is a good place to start. And by the way, I don’t know that it was written so much as a moral system as a way to manage personal energy so that me, myself and I can find peace within whatever situation I’m in. If it is a way of separation, it is at least a separation that leaves room for inclusion. Now go figure that riddle out.

 

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Samskara and the Witness: Yoga’s Value in the Time of Trump.

Samskaras are impressions that form our unconscious thoughts and actions.

Bramacharya is the tempering of excess.

 

I have a failing dog whose cries sound like a bird that has newly taken residence in my yard. He falls and the puppy runs in to tell me. Is it him or a bird? I jump up now when I hear the bird. I am confused and it’s corrupting my concentration. My impressions are nervous and exhausting. I recognize that something must change. My choices challenge me.

 

Obstruction of justice, Russia, agenda, fake news, collusion, credibility and incompetence represent the concepts that frame America this day of June 8th. James Comey, former FBI Director will be heard. The moon will be full. The pundits will interpret and Americans will take sides.

 

Here in Nashville, the city is teaming with tourists for Bonaroo and CMA week. Music fills the air. The town is charged with love for our hockey team the Nashville Predators who will compete for the Stanley Cup in Pittsburgh tonight. They are my clients. Music is much of my moving life. I am not entirely distracted by politics today.  I throw my thrown gardener’s back into the mix. I am in pain so I’m already irritated. Just these things create a background for my impressions of the news today. This is a molecule of what informs my consciousness. The rest is my history. And yours.

 

I remember saluting the flag with pride. I remember a country that made me feel safe. I remember a mannered country even if it was only the surface. I remember feeling the grownups in charge would take care of me. But then I was raised kindly in a safe and privileged place by two grownups who are together 64 years today. I have an impression. I am loved and I love easily. I was raised by people who took care of those weaker or less fortunate. I believe in entitlements which I think is a horrible word for helping those less advantaged. I have traveled and felt the sameness of folks from different worlds. I embraced the alternative world of yoga and shunned the status quo as a young adult. It was a time that embraced that.

 

I know to listen to the opinions of people who think differently than I do because I am aware that my impressions color my views.  I admit to rage over what I perceive as deeply cynical or naïve views. I can barely stand to watch Fox news though my husband insists we do to understand what we’re dealing with. But I see obnoxious. And I know those people see MSNBC, CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS and the newspapers that once had the greatest gravitas the same way and worse.

 

How do we witness objectively? How do we begin to lose our impressions and be an unbiased jury?

 

We listen to the words out of people’s mouths without interpreters. We come from kindness to embrace all living creatures and this earth. We look for credible evidence which means it can be proved. We choose to withhold absolute opinion. If we’re lucky we feel what feels right according to the rules of right and wrong we learned at home, at worship houses, at school.  If we had none of that we look for something to trust. Something of love. Something of light.

 

In yoga we breathe gently with consciousness in rhythm with movement. We hold our attention to the sensations of the moments. We try to lift the cloud by being patient. We hone awareness. When confronted with truthful feelings we examine them. It’s not foolproof but it’s what yoga offers.

 

My impression is that both the words liberal and conservative are good in context. Liberal when it means generous. Conservative when restraint is called for to reign in incorrect generosity. That concept is covered in modern yoga as bramacharya.  Modern yoga philosophy recognizes the other factors that allow us to recognize bramacharya in our own lives.

 

This is not a tutorial on yoga. It is to say that yoga is needed more than ever in these days of confusion. When right and wrong is no longer absolute, when facts are called fake, when robots are manipulating our impressions for gain, it is imperative that we find a way home.

 

Author’s note: this is truly a blog post written quickly and as ….. an impression. :()

 

 

 

 

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In the Age of Trump, is a Protest an Act of Sedition or Civil War?

 To resist a new regime is to revolt against the countrymen who unwittingly sold souls to create it.

The goal of yoga is to lift the veil of one’s ignorance, to see, to feel, to know yourself. I am a yoga teacher but whose ignorance have I helped to lift?

Certainly not the guests I sat with at the last dinner party who were on the surface a like minded circle of liberals. When a millennial guest sitting beside his soldier partner told us that his sweet country mother voted for Trump because she was angry that Obama used the company plane to go to Hawaii, tongues clucked in sympathy. It wasn’t her fault that she’s a simpleton. Sighing empathy all round.

I wanted to slam my fist on the gloriously set table and scream. Fuck that. There is no excuse for that level of ignorance or pettiness. Your mother is an asshole and so are you for not shoving facts in her face.

Hell, I did it to my mother when he won the Primary and it took a week of arguments before she came to her senses blinded as she was by the glorious image of the sparkling Von Trump children gracing a stately White House. She has always been a cup full full kind of dreamer. She’s also a bit vain despite her social work background and was infuriated by the sight of Hillary Clinton’s pant suits. And she doesn’t realize she was raised to believe that men are men and there is no excuse for a woman who doesn’t learn to manage that situation with wit and she still believes that. She would deny all of this but I know it’s true.

In a new nation where facts are considered opinions by some and fake news has no rival for others, it is near impossible to have a rational conversation with someone who voted for Trump these days. In fact it’s even hard to have an agreeable conversation with anyone but the most like minded people. My dinner party hostess told me later she thinks it’s pointless to try to convince people of anything.  You can’t change anyone’s mind and it’s not your place. I told her to tell that to Martin Luther King.

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No one was hurt when Clinton was loose with her mail. But Trump stole the tuition of innocent working folks at Trump University. In this, his defenders say Clinton is the crook. They know the word e-mail. They seem to think that’s enough.  Argue with them and you’ll want to put a bullet through your head. I had a client tell me that Clinton had people murdered and though I countered, look at the person’s history and judge if that is likely and by the way that was fake news, she was unmovable. She said the two candidates are equally bad. When I hear that I want to sling shit like a caged ape.

If half the country is the other halves adversary or enemy, is it an act of sedition for one half to march against the other or is that a call to civil war?

what-is-the-true-cost-of-war

He will become President.  A march in protest is a march against the people who voted for him and the people who didn’t vote. That is more than half the country but it matters.

I do have friends who voted for Trump. I love these people though I disrespect their willingness to deny facts and worse, to defend their beliefs with twisted logic. I have to look at what I love about them and stay the course. And I have to speak my mind and also listen to them or they are not my friends.

Still I know that my protest is an act of anger against them. Any protestor denying that is simply afraid to see the truth because it is painful to fight with the people you love. Maybe worse, it’s painful to think that the people you love don’t respect you either.

Trump has initiated a fight with the people who share his country and the countries that share our interests. He is a fighter. That is what he does. He describes it one step past that. He says he is a winner. We can stand down or express our concerns. Will that initiate a civil war? I’d say the war has already begun.

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