Month: June 2013

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Namaste Madiba

To me,this week has been emotional to say the least. As I learned last week about Nelson Mandela’s fragile condition I remembered his book “ Long Walk To Freedom” and how it impacted my life ever since I read it a few years ago. As I reminisce on those pages today, the words take on a different meaning. Perhaps because now I am reading them as a Yogi and not just an admirer of the revolutionary (which I still am). This week I have been letting Mandela and his life inspire my practice on and off the mat. I have been reading his quotes in my classes and I have been hoping for him to either recover or leave his body in the most peaceful and dignified manner Mandela’s story is one of the most remarkable and multifaceted ones of our time. It is one of a young boy who came from a little rural town to become the first elected president of his Nation. It is also the story of a man who wouldn’t give up his beliefs of freedom and equality for all even if he had to sacrifice his family, his friends and his life. It is a tale of endurance and an example of how far can the human spirit go even when the body has been imprisoned and mistreated. But most importantly, I think, it is a story of transformation and humility. Most people know Mandela’s story. His 27 years long ordeal in prison and his coming to presidency and efforts in uniting a very segregated South Africa. What many tend to forget is that just before being imprisoned, and tired of the slow achievements of his movement, he created and lead the Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK), or "Spear of the Nation." The MK was the violent, militarized wing of the African National Congress. He was responsible a few bombings, for organizing violent resistance and planning guerrilla warfare. However he wasn’t able to fulfill most of this plans as he was imprisoned in 1962. This is where, to me, the most inspiring part of Mandela’s story takes place. Something amazing happened to him in prison. He transformed. He changed from deep within. He turned resentment, bitterness and maybe even hatred into forgiveness. He changed violent revolution for peaceful resistance. He chose the path of Love. Some of the most remembered of Mandela’s tales take place…

Believe Again

Last night I found this post  while scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed:  The story  itself is quite impressive : “For 12 hours, two herds of wild South African elephants slowly made their way through the Zululand bush until they reached the house of late author Lawrence Anthony, the conservationist who saved their lives.” However, what really caught my attention were the comments by the poster and her friends. Incredulity, to say the least was the common denominator. And this level of disbelief resumes many of the faults I find with our modern life. Science and progress (And I’ am in no way against either of them) have blessed us with longer life expectancy, worldwide easy travel and communication, freedom of information and many other gifts. The price we have paid though, has been a disconnection with our true essence and with the world. As we see the Universe each time more as something we can quantify, measure, predict and explain; our lives have become disenchanted and demystified. Some skeptics may believe this is for the better. I beg to differ. The world around us is full of magic and miracles. Life itself is a great mystery. Love is the greatest force in the Universe and there aren’t any quarks or neutrinos or elusive Higgs Boson particles around to account for it. Yet, who hasn’t felt Love? Rationalism and Scientific progress played a key role in the development of our culture, but now we need to learn that our mind does not have to be in antagonism with our spirit. It is time to combine all this knowledge with our innermost feelings. What good is the best smartphone if you have no one to talk, email or text to? We need to connect again. First of all with our own bodies, then our true selves and then with each other and the whole Universe to which we belong. The key is believing. Our mind will always try to trick us into not believing. That’s exactly it’s function: to process the information received by the senses about the world around us. But the mind knows nothing about that which the senses don’t perceive and we and the Universe are made up of much more than what the senses can perceive. We need to reprogram and reboot. We need to slow our minds down, open our hearts and believe again. Love and Happiness, Mannu…