“We had to make it clear that nonviolent resistance is not a method of cowardice. It does resist.
It is not a method of stagnant passivity and deadening complacency. The nonviolent resister is just as opposed to the evil that he is standing against as the violent resister but he resists without violence. This method is nonaggressive physically but strongly aggressive spiritually. Another thing that we had to get over was the fact that the nonviolent resister does not seek to humiliate or defeat the opponent but to win his friendship and understanding…
“The end of violence or the aftermath of violence is bitterness. The aftermath of nonviolence is reconciliation and the creation of a beloved community….
“Then we had to make it clear also that the nonviolent resister seeks to attack the evil system rather than individuals who happen to be caught up in the system…
“Another basic thing we had to get over is that nonviolent resistance is also an internal matter. It not only avoids external violence or external physical violence but also internal violence of spirit. And so at the center of our movement stood the philosophy of love. The attitude that the only way to ultimately change humanity and make for the society that we all long for is to keep love at the center of our lives….
“We must continue to move on. Our self—respect is at stake; the prestige of our nation is at stake. Civil rights is an eternal moral issue which may well determine the destiny of our civilization… We must keep moving with wise restraint and love and with proper discipline and dignity…”
excerpted from “The Power of Non-violence”
by Martin Luther King, Jr.
June 4, 1957
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday is an auspicious time to reflect on the legacy, methods and message of one of the greatest revolutionaries of our time as well as to reflect on the mantle that we inherit as aspiring yogis and budding spiritual activists. The vision of universal brotherhood and sisterhood and freedom and equality for all beings through radical non-violent tactics, grounded in love, is as relevant and necessary today as it was in Gandhi’s and Dr. King’s time and throughout history. The work did not end with these visionaries meeting their untimely demise. To the contrary, it is up to us as yogis-in-training and activists to fearlessly dive deep within to explore where slavery still exists in our minds, lives and cultures.
The practices of asana, meditation, japa, satsang and ethical vegetarianism and veganism allow us to delve the depths of the bodies made of food, energy, mind, refined intellect and eventually bliss to root out that which is keeping us from living in joy and cosmic love and to create new pathways and patterns that liberate not only the mind but the heart. We can all very easily be slave to impulse, desire and cultural conditioning and we can all easily engage in behaviors and attitudes that could facilitate the modern slavery that still exists between races, sexes, religions and even species. As we awaken to this universal vision, we can begin to skillfully act in the world as agents of change as the greats like Dr. King have. In fact, we don’t have to wait until we are fully “awakened.” The time is now. It is up to us to “keep this movement moving, “as Dr. King implored.
Yoga is about liberation and nothing less. In our quest for personal liberation and realization, we must be sure to adopt the ethic of non-violence and love that Dr. King utilized. No revolution, personal, societal or otherwise will impart lasting change if it is based on violence, harming, enmity or hostility as the fruits will be full of violence, harm and instability. The law of karma is clear. The project we are engaged in, as my beloved teacher Sharon Gannon says, is to be “liberators of countless beings.” This is the pledge of the jivanmukta and bodhisattva. This is the echoing message of Dr. King.
Lokah Samasta Sukhino Bhavantu
Bhakti Groove: Dr. King’s Vision
1. “I Have a Dream (Srikalogy Remix)” - Skrikalogy | Click to Purchase
2. “Slavery Days” - Burning Spear | Click to Purchase
3. “400 Years” – Bob Marley & The Wailers | Click to Purchase
4. “Old Slaves” – Stephen Marley | Click to Purchase
5. “Soul Rebel (Afrodisiac Sound System Remix)” – Bob Marley & The Wailers | Click to Purchase
6. “Mind Control” – Stephen Marley | Click to Purchase
7. “Free Like We Want 2 B” – Ziggy Marley | Click to Purchase
8. “Slave Driver” – Bob Marley & The Wailers | Click to Purchase
9. “Rebel Music” – Bob Marley & The Wailers | Click to Purchase
10. “Soul Rebel” – Bob Marley | Click to Purchase
11. “Keep On Moving” – Bob Marley & The Wailers | Click to Purchase
12. “Stepping Out a Babylon” – Marcia Griffiths | Click to Purchase
13. “We Shall Overcome” – Toots & The Maytals | Click to Purchase
14. “Can You Feel It (Martin Luther King Mix)” – Mr. Fingers | Click to Purchase
15. “Babylon System” – Bob Marley | Click to Purchase
16. “Amerimacka” – Thievery Corporation | Click to Purchase
17. “Tolerance” - Michael Franti & Spearhead | Click to Purchase
John Smrtic’s Upcoming Events:
Basking in the Ocean of Bhava
With Shyamdas and Jivamukti Yoga with John Smrtic
March 24 – 31, 2012
Blue Spirit – Nosara, Costa Rica
Jivamukti Yoga with John Smrtic
January 15, 2012 1-3PM
Yoga Mandali – Saratoga Springs, NY