I hope that this time shut away has allowed us all to look closely at how we live, what we want and what we need.
I have been encouraging you to go into the fields and forests for salads and herbs. To look at your gardens to understand what is there and what you can make. To look into your wardrobe to box up what is not needed waiting until we can once again donate.
Years ago Vance Packard’s book The Waste Makers, made it abundantly clear that deliberate and calculated waste was built into our economy. Light bulb manufacturers which reduced the life span of their globes, toothpaste manufacturers who made the hole in the tube bigger so we would use it faster and waste more and so on. The advertising industry makes us want the new model before the old one is worn out, and like MAC make their new models almost unrepairable. Wear and tear no longer dictates demand. These are too slow. In the 1920’s the car manufacturers started pushing the idea of new model of car every year – this hasn’t stopped. We now have an endless choice of products that are virtually the same.. 177 brands of salad dressing, 249 brands of soap, and so on.
The dangerous result of this is the toxic pollutants which destroy the atmosphere. This Covid break has allowed us to take the foot off the accelerator, and consider what we are doing, and see the result of just a small hiatus. The people in India who for the first time can see the Himalayas. How wonderful is that. Clear skies over major cities, people out walking. Big things and small things.
Dear Yogis, overconsumption is “the cancer eating away at our spiritual life”. It cuts the heart from compassion and distances us from humanity. It converts us into materialists, almost without us noticing – we think it is ‘natural” to want..
Yogis can make a unique contribution in this because we have a vital interest in the stewardship of the earth and economic justice for the poor. We have a commitment to global citizenship that can help us to get beyond the claims of sole national interests.
HOW CAN YOU HELP? 1. Open yourself to Spirit to be used in a yoga way in the world 2. Become informed about our community and how we can help in big ways and small ways 3. Become advocates of the powerless 4. Support the relief agencies in our communities and in the world who are doing good work – they need our help. 5. Write letters and email our support to people who are helping and need to know we care and 7. The Ministry of Meditation cannot be underestimated.
Most of these can be done at the kitchen table, in the home. Just do it. Once change makes all the difference. As The Buddha said. “Do what you can with what you have where you are”.
Keep well and stay happy.
Namaste – Jahne