Call to Karma Action

Beirut. Paris. Some say another September 11 has occurred. What we can all agree on is that terrorism has struck again and again. And will likely strike again. Thus continues the human tragedy of samsara, the cycle of cause and effect by which hate begets hate, and violence begets violence.

Fellow yoga teacher Doug Keller writes:

In the Bhagavad Gita, Arjuna saw clearly. Krishna’s solution — dharma (basic teachings or philosophy) with devotion — while it may apply on the individual level, was no solution in the big picture, especially in a world of devotional and ideological fanaticism. The short term necessities he justified, in the name of dharma, did nothing to make things right. There were no innocents in the war, which is why its inevitability was so tragic. Krishna’s solution to the cycle of samsara was not really a solution, but a justification to continue the suffering.

Breaking the circle demands that it first be recognized, fully and honestly. This is something that we have resolutely refused to do. The tragedy is that, as a result, the solutions we come up with now will only intensify the cycle down the road.

Unless we all think and act differently, starting now.

Herein lies a great opportunity, in many forms, to practice karma yoga: selfless action, in this case in the form of community service. Give blood where it’s needed. Volunteer. Change aspects of your job to ensure that it is serving the greater good. Donate to an organization or get a freelancer hired whose work promotes a peaceful coexistence through teaching, writing, midwifery, photography, and so on. Ask yourself over and over again: how can I help? Your actions have the powerful potential to defeat fear and hatred and ultimately promote union and peace to protect our freedom.

Banksy Paris Peace This mass citizens’ action would enormously contribute to eliminating hatred and fear on everyone’s part, and ultimately reduce the risk of future attacks on our freedom. Not moments of silence, and not demonstrations of solidarity, not social media posts of “thoughts and prayers,” nor the lowering of flags to half-mast. With the intention guided by maitri / metta – loving kindness: may all beings be safe, healthy, happy, and at ease – reaching out to help each other will unite us, foster peace and mutual respect, to fight hatred and fear, and ultimately defend our ongoing hard-earned freedom.

May all beings be happy and free.


© 2015 Amy Dara Hochberg. Image attributed to Banksy. All rights reserved.

Yoga with Amy Dara by Amy Dara Hochberg is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
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