CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference), Reagan, Twitter, History, and Mediation – oh yeah, Dora is getting frustrated, so I do what I can and then let go…
I made my morning coffee and opened the morning news. Wall Street Journal had a long and very level headed criticism on the CPAC. As I took shorter and shorter breaths while reading, I stumbled onto a Ronald Reagan’s quote within the article.
Forty years ago, Ronald Reagan spoke at the CPAC, he presented a warning. “All the facts of the real world have to be fitted to the Procrustean bed of Marx and Lenin… If the facts don’t happen to fit the ideology, the facts are chopped off and discarded. I consider this to be the complete opposite to principled conservatism. …When a conservative says that totalitarian communism is an absolute enemy of human freedom, he is not theorizing. He is reporting the ugly reality captured so unforgettably in the writing of Alexander Solzhenitsyn.”
I was struck by two realizations. The first being, nobody currently in our dumbed down Twitter-oriented short attention spanned culture would dare to reference Alexander Solzhenitsyn. The second, was the clear juxtaposition of complex theoretical thoughts, with the call for action in questioning the truth to what currently is the popular basic dogma with below high school level English prose. There was a third thing that hit me, the fact that I was reading Wall Street Journal as a moderate newspaper no longer lining up with the current identity of the Republican party, but let’ s just leave that mind-blowing fact out of this discussion.
Anyway, Reagan was referring to historical events and ideology embedded in philosophy. I paused in my reading and got really frustrated. I remembered that I should be preparing for my History of Yoga and Meditation lectures (12 hours’ worth of material that I have been researching and working on for years). I got really irritated because I am discouraged. Though Spira is very successful and our workshops sell out, for the most part, this History and Mediation has a hard time taking off. This saddens me greatly since this is the subject that I am most passionate about, and I feel it captures the most important ideas in yoga.
My urgency with sharing this workshop culminates even further by our current state politically and socially. As a society, we are busier and busier, and more and more we rely on short 140-character long string of information. As a matter of fact, I am pretty sure I lost some of you way back at Solzhenitsyn in this writing… As a society, we want to be lined up more and more with what we deem is right. There is less questioning, we study less, we have reached (on average) a tribe-like mentality where we are open only to opinion that we quickly understand and right away agree with at first glance.
Yoga and Meditation is a practical art, a philosophy to living in peace by questioning reality! History is absolutely necessary in order to understand the philosophy in cultural, socio-economic context. By understanding how philosophy evolves out of human need, we become more open to questioning and studying our current crisis.
So yeah, I am pissed. While I watch Instagram yogis become hyper-famous for putting their leg around their neck in tiny swimsuits, I have a hard time inspiring the larger public with educational material.
Don’t get me wrong, I do not want to be famous. I run a great studio, I am good. I don’t need to be liked by the thousands, I have a handful of loving friends in flesh and blood. What I get frustrated about is what I see in politics, I see in yoga; the dumbing down, the oversimplification, the sheer false claims… It is all the same. I have no love lost for social media, (and yes, I get the irony since I am posting there.) Social media is, to use our President’s favorite word, Hugely responsible for our current crisis.
Public institutions have the responsibility not only to make money but to educate. As you can see, I am wildly passionate about history and meditation. Not because I make money from the workshop, though paying the mortgage is a very satisfying monthly event, but because I want to live in a smarter world, a more peaceful world with smarter dialogue. My Dharma is teaching, my gift is teaching, I whole heartedly believe that yoga philosophy and meditation has the power to bring peace not just to an individual but to society.
With that, I hope you join me…and now back to working on the lectures and exercises, because this work makes me happy, and all I can do is keep doing what I deem is important. I cannot control the outcome, that I must let go…