Let me site Thich Nhat Hahn; “We have constructed a system we can’t control. It imposes itself on us, and we become its slaves and victims. We have created a society in which the rich become richer and the poor become poorer, and in which we are so caught up in our own immediate problems that we cannot afford to be aware of what is going on with the rest of the human family or our planet Earth. In my mind I see a group of chickens in a cage disputing over a few seeds of grain, unaware that in a few hours they will all be killed.” (Spiritual ecology, p. 37)
People say, “why look at us and our world so negative?… well unless we face it, and become aware why we are in this predicament, we can’t change it.
So becoming aware is the first step… then try to change “the chicken-coop”! Or find a way to get out of it…
Chickens like any birds…want to be free. We want to be free, it’s in our nature; and we all have a natural affinity with Nature… because we are it!
Rumi (the well-known Sufi poet) says:
Sit, be still and listen
For you are drunk,
And we are at the edge of the roof!
We need to sit still, means we need to reconnect with that Space inside which is in us and around us – the Space that is the Great Cosmic Mother – in which potentially all solutions already exist.
We need to learn to listen again – but we live drowning out all Nature, all inner wisdom, all sacred knowing… with iPods, iPads… etc. etc…constant noise, why?… Because we are afraid to hear the message of inner wisdom, which says; STOP… look around and recognise your interconnectedness, recognise your unbreakable link with all of existence…
And change…before it is too late.
What does it mean, in practice? If we are One… with HER, call it Nature, call it Cosmic Mother, call it Maha-Shakti or La Pachamama or many of her thousand names. It’s relatively easy, seeing, knowing, understanding, that we are Her has an immediate effect on how we live.
Seeing, knowing that we are connected and dependent on all living beings and all of existence … will change immediately how we live.
Awareness is the first step… then – living with love and respect will follow. But how? Let’s start with a very simple thing; Food!
Think, if all is brought forth by the Divine Cosmic Mother, with her consciousness… then whatever is grown on earth has her spirit. Means food is alive, it’s not just pieces of carbohydrates, protein and nutrients, it is “being”, it is sacred. The food we eat, the food that nourishes us, seen with awareness, is seen as a gift from the earth, from the sun, from the waters, from millions of years of evolution. And it is also a gift from all the people who put hard work into producing it. When we forget the earth and all those who contribute to our food, the food becomes ‘soul-less’, becomes so called matter. Which means we can modify it (GMO), fill it with pesticides and chemicals etc. and thus literally poison the food… (and this is going on in most parts of the world now!).
But food is life, it is part of an enormous web of life. You have seen the ‘Lion-king’ the cycle of life; food is the very basis of creation. Evolution started with light particles exchanging food…
In many cultures it is recognised that food is sacrifice; the carrot sacrifices her life so you can live, so does the rice corn, so does the vegetable or animal. Everything in this universe… becomes at one point or other food for other life-forms. My body becomes food for worms and flowers…
Food is the manifest, cosmic energy behind life for all life forms, including us. If people have no food, it means we have broken the sacred wheel of life!
If people have no water, like millions of people at present – it means we have broken the natural cycle of life, of Nature; we have broken her body!
How long can this go on? Hence in India and many indigenous societies, giving food to the hungry and water to the thirsty is dana… is a sacred gift, and duty towards life!
But in our world today, we exploit even that! We give seeds that only grow with pesticides that kill and make the ground infertile…after 3 years even. We give and kill at the same time (Monsanto etc.). The massive scale of this and its disastrous consequences for ourselves and future generations are immeasurable (much research in the last ten years and more, have confirmed this). Luckily increasingly people wake up to this and change to organic agriculture (food growing), and cultivate, what is called by some ‘grand-children friendly- agriculture’.
We forgot that food and water are sacred, sacred to Her who is the very life we live. It’s impossible to exist for us and be healthy without clean food and clean water. We have more serious illness now than ever, have you ever noticed that illnesses like cancer, Alzheimer and other degenerative illnesses do not exist amongst indigenous tribal people… until we enter their culture and bring our poisoned food and water! (and of course air). We literally produce food that creates hunger, poverty and illness.
Our agriculture has lost its ‘culture’ and become agri-business! Through agrichemicals and poisons.
What’s that got to do with Yoga? A lot,
a) to evolve into higher spiritual beings, we have to be a healthy body…even physical exercises (called by some asana) cannot ‘make good’ if we live a life that constantly poisons our body.
b) if we all are interconnected, and we are one, we poison not just our bodies, but life itself!
And all that: Why?
Because we have lost our connection to nature, means doing agri-business in monocultures, which by the way use ten times more energy than they produce food. Industrial farms also use ten times as much water than bio/conventional or ecological farms. Nutrients that we need to stay well and healthy disappear from our farms along with farmers… and are replaced by chemicals and machines. Mother Nature herself is driven out, by the illusion that we can live without HER.
As a result we have Climate Change, erosion of biodiversity, depletion and pollution of water.
What to do? Stop…buying the food produced that way! If the consumer doesn’t buy it, no one will make money by selling it; hence they will stop producing it. But people are not aware of the damage they do to themselves… they believe the manipulating market forces and why?
Because they have forgotten that they are part of the Circle of life. We all are interconnected children in the body of the Great Cosmic Mother.
Forgetting our true nature… leaves us facing destruction and death. Sorry… but this is the truth! Many, people, scientists and wise ones from all cultures start seeing. We already talked about how to reconnect to this core knowing, to be aware of the feminine principle or the Great source and Womb of all existence, which we call the Great Mother.
The answer is turning inward… and listen to the inner wisdom.
That is meditation, the practice of meditation is a simple tool….for the journey to a new forward.
But it’s not the only tool. To kindle a new awareness… we can go and find Her in nature. Many people in our day and age have found ways to reconnect with Her. Take your children into the wilderness, into the Mountains and to the sea…not in a posh holiday… but to feel, to experience Her; walking in the woods, listening to the birds, learning to see and to listen again.
Whether you listen inwardly… or deeply, consciously outward in nature…one is the way of the yogi, the other the way of the Shaman. But both learn to listen, learn to really see, really hear… HER PULSE.
To really hear… to see is not easy, because our senses and mind have been dulled by technology and simply pollution. Scientists today have it that we can’t think clearly anymore, for the very reason that we breathe polluted air, drink polluted water and eat polluted food. We live in a fog….
Allow yourself and your family – and any people you can reach… to go into the wilderness and breathe….clean…renew…. then apply what you felt and experienced to daily life. You can do all the pranayama in the world, if the air is polluted… there is no gain… only loss!
Become aware of the One-ness we are one living organism… all together…Gaia, Bhuvaneshvari , Her cosmic body, and we each have a function a purpose in this ‘organism’. Life is precious… don’t throw it away.
For like a blood-cell in your body, you have a job to do in the body of ALL.
In our time it might mean, becoming a spiritual warrior, someone who understands the Oneness and interdependence of all existence… and because of that starts to become active… a spiritual activist if you prefer.
Someone who engages so as to bring back balance, bring back life to a dying planet. And you will say; “I alone cannot change anything”. Well if you change your habits…turn off your I-pads… don’t buy new mobile phones, if you only buy healthy fresh un-manipulated food, free of pesticides – you just might save children’s lives….
But you become more effective still if you join others – create a wave that will change… create a tsunami… that will change and wake people out of their lethargy, their complacency. Reawaken their understanding, their respect, their love, their caring.
We are all her children… and not just we humans… but all the species… of which hundreds die each day!!!!Because of our disrespect for Mother Nature.
What did Swami Rama say? “Today, we cannot live in seclusion and cannot separate ourselves from the rest of society. How is it possible to disregard the problems of our neighbours? There is no way to be happy if our fellow beings are suffering from disease and poverty… to have concern for others is to be human.” (Call to humanity, p. 115).
However we think we are special, separate from others, separate from nature. Realise you are not separate; remember you are that Divine, original energy, the child of Consciousness…the all-knowing energy!
Being aware of that… means you are empowered to build your own destiny! You are part of humanities destiny; you are part of the world’s destiny. Use the power that you are born with, for the “Good of ALL”. Be “the Mother of ALL”. Give, support, love….All (for that’s HER Nature!); Love All, include All, exclude None… no separation. Over and over Swami Rama’s says: Love all and exclude None… this is living in the light, in relationship with the Great Mother, Mother Nature, The Cosmic Mother.. for She is All.
She does not live in a temple, or a statue, or a religion, or an idea or concept…No – She is YOU… don’t hide Her light…within you! Instead be a pure instrument in Her service… for the good of All!