No matter who wins the election in the USA, and no matter where you live in the world, we have a tough chapter ahead. Our communities are polarized, our people are angry and fearful, and as of today two hundred people are dying every hour from the virus. Plus, Mother Nature seems irritated and keeps generating new calamities.
Let’s not forget that we human beings have faced far worse in our 200,000 years on this planet and let’s focus on what we can do, in our tiny speck of power: one mind, one heart, one body.
More than in our minds, our greatest power is in our hearts.
This past October the festival of Navaratri (the Hindu festival of the Divine Mother) was celebrated. That festival officially ended October 26, but we can continue the celebration in our own way. How? By having the all-compassionate and forgiving heart of a Mother. Sri Sharada Devi famously said, “I am the mother of the wicked as well as being the mother of the virtuous.” No one was shut out of her heart.
If we close our hearts against those who have different ideologies, they will close their hearts against us—that is inevitable.
How can we find love in our hearts when our world is so full of anger and grief? Let us remember that the happiness of the yogi is a happiness not based on conditions. What is the source of that happiness? Dig deep and you’ll find that there is Light inside of you, and there is peace inside of you.
There is a story about four blind men who encounter a tame elephant. They each touch a different part of the elephant and they start to argue about their experiences. “It is like a hose” shouts one—he is touching the trunk. “It is like a rope” says another, he is holding onto the tail. “It is a tree trunk” says another, he has his arms around a leg. “It is a large leaf” says another who is holding the ear. Then, a person with sight comes along and restores peace to the situation, explaining that each one of the blind men is right to the extent that he knows, and that the elephant is a combination of all their experiences.
Nowadays, 20-20 vision does not mean what it used to mean. During 2020 we’ve gotten entrenched in our outlook and closed to other viewpoints—like the blind men in this story. If we want to see the whole elephant we start by opening our hearts, welcoming the viewpoints of others, and looking for solutions that are inclusive.
In the midst of chaos and upheaval there is also grace. We who are the students of Yoga can be the portals for that grace to emerge into the greater community.
About the Author:
Swami Divyananda, E-RYT 500, has had a wealth of experience teaching Integral Yoga around the world since 1973. She has taught at corporations, universities, the Commonwealth Cancer Center, and for the Dr. Dean Ornish Reversing Heart Disease programs. She has also served as one of Integral Yoga’s Basic Hatha teacher trainers. Swami Divyananda took monastic vows in 1975 from Sri Swami Satchidananda. Over the years, she has served as the director of the Integral Yoga Institutes in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and as Ashram Manager at Satchidananda Ashram–Yogaville. She also served for ten years as the director of the Integral Yoga Institute in Coimbatore, India; this immersion into the South Indian culture has given depth to her understanding and practice of Yoga. Now an itinerant monk, Swami Divyananda is constantly “on the road.” She leads the annual Sacred India Tours to sacred sites in India in addition to international Yoga retreats and trainings. See more at sacredindiatours.org