By Ted Grand
Moksha/Modo Yoga Co-founder
This year, we are super stoked to be supporting Pull-Together (a joint campaign by RAVEN Trust and Sierra Club BC) for our annual Speak Your Peace campaign. Their goal (and ours) is to help ensure that First Nations rights are legally protected (NOTE: the reason the Pull-Together campaign exists is because the Canadian Government approved the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline project without going through the appropriate approval process, which includes consulting the First Nations people).
Here’s the thing though; it is hard sometimes to have a resonance with a cause that is not at the forefront of general conversation or social media posts. The fact is that industrial expansion has the full support of all levels of government, and we have been brainwashed to believe that we really need to support that expansion. If we don’t, we are called anti-jobs. We are socialists. We are naive. We are tree huggers. It is counter-cultural to speak out against the destruction of our planet and the oppression of the original people of this continent, and that sucks.
The fact is that this is a human rights issue, and not many people are really standing up to ensure that all parties have an active voice in how things unfold. Well, Pull-Together is standing up and doing some kick-ass work to not only ensure that First Nations groups have proper legal representation, but that the culture, outlooks, and traditions of these people are given a voice in a world that is increasingly disposable and consumer-needs driven. This is a voice that we want to help give attention to.
We do yoga for a lot of reasons, but at the end of the day there is a hope that within the effects of our practice, we are waking up. As Studio Owners and Teachers, we create a space for this waking up for many. But here is the big challenge that we all face each day – it feels good to stay asleep. It is way easier to not really concern ourselves with the injustices of the world. It takes an incredibly powerful speaker to find the words that are required for us to stir from our slumber. Think of Martin Luther King Jr. with his “I Have A Dream” speech. What would it have been like to hear that speech at that time in history? We don’t really have that in this modern world, as we are inundated with messages and images that distract us from connecting to the essence of our life. This essence comes from the air we breathe, the water we drink, the earth we grow our food in, and the delicate balance of ecosystems. This essence is being more and more diluted as the years pass, and the dominant culture is slumbering through this. Many of the messages and stories that our First Nations relatives share are trying to wake us up to the need for change and action. Pull-Together is helping to share these messages and stories in the hope that we wake up.
Here is what it comes down to; Arjuna was in the middle of the chaos in the Bhaghavad Gita, and he froze. He did not know what to do, nor how to do it, and so he wanted to turn away from everything that was going on. He wanted to hide from his dharma. Krishna shook him up, and forced him to wake up; to take action! This is what brought him back into life, and what essentially saved his heart from ignorance. This is karma yoga – the yoga of action.
The Moksha and Modo Yoga community, with all of its wonderful students, teachers and studio owners, is a strong community. We are smart, compassionate and aligned with many who want to wake up. And though sometimes we can all fall asleep and get focused on the things that distract us from the deeper work of making the world a better place, things like Speak Your Peace can act as flashpoints for us all – moments in our year when we can remember to do something meaningful; to act on behalf of what we really care about. So please, check out THIS LINK. Educate yourselves about this group and the issues they are working for. Ask questions of those who are really familiar with this group if you need help. And, dedicate your practice to people and a planet that needs our help.
Thank you all for your participation. It means a lot that we take chances and stand up to speak for those who do not have a powerful voice and who, in fact, have their voices suppressed. We are Arjuna – taking action – and we are helping to make the world a better place.