Dear Yogis,

Covid has shown us that there is a deep sadness in society.  In spite of the fact that we can email and speak to anyone anywhere in the world, to this point we have lived very insular lives.  We have not venerated the old people, respected our expanded families, or engaged with our neighbours, and have attempted to fill this vacuum by smoking, drinking, eating and even overworking. The covid pandemic is making us aware of this hole in our lives.  Human beings always want what is taken away from them.  We have had community taken away, we have been confined to our houses, and guess what – we want community.  Covid is showing us to ourselves. In this way and others, it is valuable and necessary.

As a community our children in particular have rejected the traditions of our our parents and grandparents but have not found anything to replace them, and right now,  generally do not know what to do.  Even our parents may not have been able to transmit these deeper traditions because they have not fully understood them, perhaps not even experienced them.

On my YouTube channel,  have spoken of the lady in the supermarket gazing at the empty shelves and crying.  She had passed the point of panic and was crumbling in front of me.  Her only reality had been taken away and there was nothing she could fall back on.  There are many people like this. They have no inner resources, not just the spiritual resources but the practical know-how that grandparents knew.  I have volunteered classes to teach “the old ways”.  Hardly anyone is interested unless I dress these ideas up in fancy yogic terms… the superficial forms.  When living values are absent then the rituals and dogmas are lifeless, rigid and even may I say it, oppressive.

Buddhism like Christianity and other traditions have to be living institutions in order to respond to the needs of the people.  This applies to our yoga class and studio, zoom or studio.  Unless they are living and working in the market place and responding to what is happening around them, they cannot transmit the jewels they have received.  On the other hand, people have to be ready to receive them.

For many years people have had the traditions stripped away and nothing put in their place.  They have nothing to believe in.  Imagine living in a world where there is nothing worthwhile, beautiful and true, and now even the distractions are being peeled away with the restrictions imposed by Covid.

It is not necessary for everyone to become a yogi, a Christian, a Buddhist or a member of any other religion.  I encourage students to look at Spirit and go back to a tradition in which they had felt nurtured. Not just look at it, BUT LIVE IT.   A place they can reintegrate and reroot.  If they do this, then they can use this knowledge to transform and renew their traditions and discover the jewels that are there.  In this way they can value other traditions, other ways, and become a benefit to everyone.  We need to reach out so others can reach out

The yamas in Yoga, the precepts in Buddhism and the Commandments in Christianity are important jewels that we need to study and practice.  We can never study and live them enough.  The more we study them, the more profound we realise they are, and how deeply they can contribute to the happiness of the family and society.

The first of the yamas is “I shall not kill”

Aware of the suffering caused by the destruction of life, I vow to cultivate compassion and learn ways to protect the lives of people, animals, plants, and minerals.  I am determined not to kill, not to let others kill, and not to condone any act of killing in the world, in my thinking, and in my way of life.

Yogis (readers).  I invite you to become part of our community.  Choose where you want to start.  Reading, a course, YouTube, Zoom?  Choose from the menu on the home page.  It doesn’t matter where you start, it only matters that you do start.  There are many ways… If you are not sure, email me, talk, we can find a way together.