Love is Green: yoga meets philosophy in the ecological emergency

I need to find a way to open a discussion about this. Let’s start talking about what it means to practice compassionate attunement, practice realisation, to understand that the way of doing something is just that, The Way, since it embodies attitude, quality, a means of being the instrument of love. 

Responding to the ecological emergency

Emerging into Awareness

What has all this to do with the point I made earlier about the ecological emergency, as I call it? When we recognise that we are experiencing a world mediated through expectations, we begin to understand that we have a choice about how to respond. The practice of yoga is just that, it is a practice, a way of doing something. It is therefore in how we do things that our response and responsibility lie. We are not responsible for what happens to us, for our parents, or indeed for the entire emergency, the pandemic, that we have emerged into. But what we can do is be increasingly aware of the manner of our response. The only manner that is of any benefit to anyone is a manner, an attitude, of compassion. Compassion means recognising the suffering and being determined to do everything in your power to alleviate it, however huge that challenge is. It means admitting to yourself that you cannot become enlightened if the entire world is suffering in ignorance and darkness and despair. You have a duty to do something, however small, to alleviate suffering. There are many small things we can do as individuals. Plant a tree ( Conserve water. Buy less stuff. Be kind. Challenge ourselves to be kind in every interaction. Not weak, not appeasing, but making sure our words are really compassionate. 

This is all we can do, but it is something. Avoidance is not helpful. Renounce if you must but be aware that the world does not stop spinning just because you don’t like what’s going on. Yoga has the capacity to offer a real boon to the world that is far beyond the mat. Each act may be a drop in the ocean, but as David Mitchell wrote in the final line of his fabulous book, Cloud Atlas, “what is any ocean but a multitude of drops?”

Now begins the teaching on Yoga

atha yogānuśāsanam


Now, or Then. Here, in a spirit of offering, begins. A word that emerged from the throat of Brahma. The beginning. 


What is Yoga? You tell me. Union. Intimacy. Connection. Compassion in action. 


Teaching. Instruction. The Way. 

Where you are, right now, is the instruction, the way, to connection. 

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