"Darkness cannot drive out darkness;
only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate;
only love can do that."
Martin Luther King
The Swan, No 14 ,Series SUW, 1914 -1915 Hilma Af Klint,
"We are all creators, uniquely endowed with unimaginable power. Those divinely gifted powers have to be turned on to eradicate the world-destroying ignorance of selfishness and greed, which enable wars, racism, religious sectarianism, eco-destruction, and the evils of unchecked materialism. All of our present ills are interconnected. We are in a dangerous imbalance where our technical advancement has outpaced our moral advancement.
You can’t beat away the darkness with a stick, you have to open the window of intelligence for light to enter."
Another full moon has arrived and with it an even greater and stronger emotional pull during this time of unrest. It takes strength, courage and compassion to find balance between tending to our individual traumas and personal needs during the pandemic and addressing our national and global wounds that are rising to the surface to be healed. Now is a potent time to seek clarity and insight into the root cause of our local as well as global issues of racial discrimination. I believe that the work that we all do personally and inwardly is important but staying awake, alert and vigilant to our actions outwardly is vital. The ways in which we engage with and support the current movements and protests may be different but we can all join together with the same mission and desire for change and reform.
I am encouraged by how many people are coming together, raising awareness and speaking out in great numbers. I am grateful for this period of isolation as an opportunity for undistracted introspection and also for education. For those not fully aware of the issues regarding the intersection of race, justice, and mass incarceration in the United States, I recommend watching the 13TH (2016) documentary. I am personally taking more time to read, research and have conversations to more fully understand the history and politics behind systemic racism as well as continuing to reflect inwardly, remaining as open, compassionate and hopeful as I can.
I also would like to share with you two other films that may be touching and insightful for those who have interest in these issues, Finding the Gold Within (2014) and Voices from Inside (1996), both directed by independent filmmaker Karina Epperlein.
"Karina's work is always looking into dark corners, finding the light, addressing the themes of justice, transformation, and healing. Finding the Gold Within is her tenth film project as director/producer. The feature-length documentary follows six young Black men through the trials and triumphs of their first three years of college. How do they navigate persistent racial provocations? Alumni of the unique Ohio mentoring program Alchemy, they are hell-bent on disproving society's stereotypes and low expectations. Amazingly, they grow before our eyes. Karina also produced and directed Voices from Inside, a documentary about women in prison and their children on the outside. It was the culmination of her four years of teaching as a volunteer at a federal women's prison."
I have deep respect for Karina both as my teacher and as a filmmaker. She brings to her work her background growing up in post war Germany, haunted by her country’s past. These films shed light on important issues in a profound and intimate way.
In these times, it is hard to find words, it is hard to know what to say or how to respond. Instead it feels ever more important to listen. So I will continue to seek to cultivate quiet and stillness within myself, so that I can be fully present for the voices that need to be heard.
L E T ' S D O M O R E T O G E T H E R
Tomorrow, Sunday June 7th, YogaWorks is hosting 'Yogis in Solidarity Sunday' donating 100% of the proceeds generated from classes taken on YogaWorks Live to help support the efforts in combating systemic racism. All proceeds will be donated to the Know Your Rights Camp Legal Defense Initiative which provides legal resources to those who are in need.
O T H E R O R G A N I Z A T I O N S
W E C A N S U P P O R T T O G E T H E R
The Swan, No. 1, Group IX/SUW, 1915, Hilma Af Klint.
"N E V E R G I V E U P
No matter what is going on Never give up Develop the heart Too much energy in your country Is spent developing the mind Instead of the heart Be compassionate Not just to your friends But to everyone Be compassionate Work for peace In your heart and in the world Work for peace And I say again Never give up No matter what is going on around you Never give up”
Dalai Lama XIV