a boots-on-the-ground view of the change that's a-foot

Archive for March, 2011

Global Meditation with Deepak Chopra – love in action

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

I was in Nevada when Deepak Chopra scheduled his live broadcast, guiding everyone in a global meditation for Japan. I had taught a yoga class at a studio that week and found out they were going to join the meditation as a group on Monday night. I believe in the tools of Ayurveda  as well as the power of the collective consciousness. And, in his wisdom, Deepak reminds us that “Love without action is meaningless – and action without love is irrelevant”. But how could I act in this??

After days of feeling unable to do anything except donate $ to the rescue operations, I knew I would be at the studio on Monday night, participating in this silent meditation, perhaps and most likely joined by tens of thousands of other people all over the world. There was not much talking, but I get choked up even now recalling the energy of love and purpose in the room.

It was something.

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Monday, March 21st, 2011

It began several years ago, with Green Yoga in San Francisco, when a timely shift in the Western yoga culture towards Seva — awareness of and commitment to, service and compassion to others and the world was born. Or reborn, if you think about it. With studio after studio opening up, and yogis competing and preening for the best-dressed and most bendable, more like-minded practitioners around the country and the world began to wake up and smell the incense.

Yoga in the West was losing its roots, its perspective and its integrity. But yoga provides nothing if not awareness and the practice of yoga, no matter how scarred and dented by a wayward culture, will eventually bring truth and a return to balance.

In partnership with the Engage Network, an organization founded by teacher, Seane Corn – is asking yogis from all walks of life to get “Off the Mat and into the World“. After my 14 years teaching and practicing, I can’t think of anything that rings more true. Yoga is not about the yoga itself – it is a practice for the real thing – Life. What happens on the mat is simply a training ground for your real goals, both inside and outside yourself.

I can’t reconcile the many recent chaos taking lives and livelihood, but I can keep moving through a practice of awareness, acceptance, compassion – AND ACTION. We can be peacefully determined warriors for a common good. Whether you are a teacher, a practitioner, or simply inspired and interested, let the mission begin.

WearPact Looks Underneath it All

Sunday, March 20th, 2011

Tahoe, NV, 2011
A girls gotta have ’em. Good underwear, that is, and before packing up for a trip to the still snow covered mountains of NV, I realized I was short a few ski tight friendly pairs. I first went to a local street-side store I knew of, but alas, it, like many small retail businesses, had closed its doors.

Heading back home where I knew I would end up shopping online for my somewhat ridiculous thong fix, I once again began to wonder about the way of the commerce and what it will mean for the future. Will we soon be limited to big box warehouse chains of discount stores and and mail order? I just heard that Borders Books is closing 200 stores across the country. Will the buildings stand vacant and the employees jobless? Can the internet provide more sustainable opportunities for our capitalistic ways?

In typical spoiled American fashion, my ruminations were short-circuited once I started web surfing. Yoga-minded me is not immune to the adrenaline rush of new stuff. Of course, the biggest rush did come from finding an eco-minded online store, WearPact, founded and run by some committed and creative people who have the goal of “creating projects that are deeply in tune with the needs for a sustainable future.”

From entrepreneurs > designer > an organic cotton factory, to a Planet Access Organization for social change, to a couple of talented filmmakers, Pact stretches the bottom line while it covers bottoms. (Don’t worry, that’s my line, not theirs.)

There is, however, a bottom line – “Change starts with your underwear and PACT is here to prove it.”

(That IS theirs:)))

Mad Men are Crazy. But Vincent Kartheiser Gets It.

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

Although I don’t have a television connected to cable, I have an addiction to specialty network shows which I download and watch on my computer in addiction style – an episode a night for days at a time. One of my favorites is Mad Men, partly because it is giving me an education on the turbulent 1960s, when the industrial age and the age of Aquarius clashed and crashed as they came to terms with the psychological, economic culture shifts ‘blowing in the wind’.

It is also helping me understand just how we arrived at the types of wasteful consumerism that drives us today. The Mad Ad men of Madison Avenue knew exactly how to convince us of what we wanted, expected and deserved. And not much has changed in that regard. It works on anything, no matter how ridiculous – the latest “single serve” items hitting supermarket is one banana wrapped in plastic, and single use dental floss…wtf???

One of the most interesting characters is Pete Campbell, played with subtle mastery by Vincent Kartheiser, most likely the only green-minded LA celebrity who does not own a car. Mr. Kartheiser, who practices several other sustainable lifestyle habits (he’s vegetarian and has no kids, to name a few), is really really excited about trains. Watch the video. It also stars Rich Sommer. It’s brilliant. And sad. And inspiring.

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