I got some emails regarding the Fruit Fly Liberation blogpost. Most were favorable, a few were fun, and a couple were hostile. I’m used to the full-spectrum of reactions to my suggesting compassion. For some reason, some people are threatened by the idea of caring for others.
I wouldn’t say they are cold or heartless, just misinformed. I bet they care for their dog or cat just fine. All of us have a level of compassion, where we draw our line. This is selective compassion. The Practice of Ahimsa, or non-violence asks us to lower this line to include more beings. This is a foundational aspect of Yoga.
Myself, I don’t feel qualified to decide which beings to care for, it’s a matter of simplification to care for all beings, even the small ones, even the unpopular ones. If the pigeons raid the feeder, I put more seed out. They are hungry too. Ditto for the Squirrels. Why not?
As I was washing my greens for dinner tonight I noticed this tiny little bug in the basin of water. He sure was small, and… he was swimming. I held him a leaf, and he climbed on. As I set him out in the garden, I could imagine his relief.
Yes, I project a lot onto others… But this bug was trying to save himself, as you would if you were dumped in the middle of the ocean. My dinner was nicer in knowing that he survived it.
This will to live is inherent in all beings. We share the same Prana, (not the Yoga-pants, but the lifeforce) that animates him.
Okay, so John’s ranting about the bugs again.
But It’s really not about the bugs, it’s about recognizing the gift of life in all beings.
October first is World Vegetarian Day. Please read: The Startling Effects of Going Vegetarian for Just One Day
Yoga asks us to examine our beliefs often, and hold our truths lightly, cause they change as we learn more about ourselves and our world. We don’t have to be selective, we can care for all beings. Om Lokah Samastha Sukhino Bhavantu.
The further I walk along this path, the less I need to know.
As we head off to our Fall Retreat at Spirit Fire this weekend, our group will live in peaceful practice and enjoy amazing Vegetarian food.
We’ve got a full house this trip, but a couple spots may still be left for the Spring 2010 retreat. Email me right away if you’re interested in joining us though.
Om Shanti, I’ll see you in class.