A Lesson for the Conflicted Yogi

“The enlightened man regards a nugget of gold and a piece of stone with equal vision.” Bhagavad Gita

The Yama’s are the first step in the eight limb path of yoga. The first of this first step is Ahimsa, which means to do no harm in thought word and deed; and yet as I finished watching the documentary Gasland, about the fracking of our precious land to extract natural gas, I wondered why someone hasn’t taken out Dick Cheney, a leader of this destructive practice.

I know, I know, such terrible thoughts from an experienced practitioner of yoga, but the violent act of hydraulic fracturing involves injecting millions of gallons of water, sand, and toxic, dangerous chemicals, into the earth at such high pressures that rock formations shatter and release natural gas trapped inside. This leads to environmental contamination of the surrounding area on an unbelievable scale.

I had to wonder how Dick Cheney, with a well known list of crimes against the earth and humanity, is allowed to enjoy the freedom of his plunder and continue to shatter the very fabric of our culture. Where is the justice in not bringing this man to trial to be judged by the world for his crimes?

I was thinking that my explosion of outrage must make me a Rogi, or even a Bogi, so I put the question to a few other yogi’s after the mornings yoga class.
“First thing that comes to your mind when I say, Dick Cheney and Halliburton?”
“I want to kill him.”
“Put him away for a long, long, time.”
These were such spontaneous eruptions of emotion I took a step back. It seems I am not alone in the all too human thoughts that grasp for aggressive action.

No doubt the Dick Cheney’s of the world who are responsible for the rape of our land, the genetic manipulation of our food supply, the pharmaceutical take over of our minds, the theft of our water supply and the contamination of the air we breathe, would laugh at the dismay I feel for wanting to do them harm. What a lesson their destructive actions present to those holding the space for light and goodness to manifest in this world. My thoughts lower me to their level, but I will continue to think them as they surface unbidden at unexpected moments. As long as the mind functions, there will be thoughts which give me pleasure and some thoughts which give me pain; some thoughts which make me happy, some thoughts which make me sad or angry.

The difference however, is described by Swami Venkatesananda in his book, Philosophy, Psychology and Practice of Yoga, “A yogi’s life is a normal life, as in all human beings. He is not a dead piece of wood. He is more human than all of us put together, but he recognizes that the structure of all experiences is precisely the same. When this truth is grasped there is sameness—which means effortless manifestation of appropriate action.”

In other words, the emotions and thoughts will happen regardless of your state of grace, but the wise individual recognizes what is occurring and chooses not to act in a way that will cause harm.

As I began writing this blog thousands of people were making their feelings heard by calling the Governors of our surrounding five states to cease and desist the fracking of the Delaware Water Basin. What this means is the destruction of the Delaware River, considered to be the purest source of water in the world.  Suddenly a friend called to say that the meeting in Trenton had been cancelled because the Governors had no choice but to hear the anger of the people.

And therein lies the lesson. No one had to physically harm another because we can defeat the greed driven CEO’s of destructive corporations with our voices, with our stand for justice against the evil that these people do in the world. We may yet see Cheney behind bars, but it will be by his own doing in awakening the voice of each individual who is driven to take action by their very human emotions.


Laura B.
Laura B7 years ago

Thanks for sharing

Tekla Drakfrende
Tekla Drakfrende7 years ago

thanks for sharing

heather g.
heather g7 years ago

I always find it really reassuring when I hear that people have worked together for positive change. Congratulations to all the participating yoga practitioners - what you have achieved is encouraging.

Gina Filley
Gina Filley7 years ago

Great article! Yogi's Unite...lol...let's all stand together to protect our beautiful planet :)

KATE H7 years ago

Great article, thanks.
Its nice to know we all have vengeful thoughts some times.
Its good for people to be passionate about what they believe, whilst still behaving in a strong peaceful way.

ANA MARIJA R7 years ago

Thanks for the article:)

Gaby D.
Gaby D7 years ago

Great post Delia! and interesting comments......I truly feel that if we are 'spiritual beings on a human journey who happen to find themselves on planet earth', then we need to protect not only planet earth but also the human race and all that mother nature has brought to this planet that we call ours. Yet, more importantly is the fact that we are all ONE, so even good ol' Dick is part of the ONE, so are all the other creatures that share our planet with us, as is the earth itself. All is ONE! We are all different expressions of the ALL that IS.
As human beans though....we are created to feel; we feel love, feel anger, feel sadness, feel fear, feel feel feel ......often all of these feelings are overwhelming. Yoga is one of many ways to help us feel, yet stay balanced. We learn to stay in balance literally even though we are now 'on this human, feeling journey'. We learn to stay balanced because we become AWARE of our feelings, truly aware......just feeling is one thing, awareness of or feelings another.
It is difficult to not wish the Dicks of this world to 'be gone'.......violence most definitely is not the answer, yet once you are aware that you feel anger, you are capable of not acting in anger, yet finding a more productive and loving action that will accomplish much more than any violent action ever would.
I also read Lloyds comment and although philosophically he may be right.....I would find that hard to do; do nothing, that would feel like apathy to me! Namaste

Rita White
Rita White7 years ago

Thanks for the article

Helpful Friend
christina webb7 years ago

THANKS! human emotions can bun our insides up, and cause us to spit FIRE, BEWARE THE DRAGON

Mary L.
Mary L7 years ago

Please help the call to arrest the people who destroyed this country and the world with greed. Not only has no one ever been prosecuted but they got bonuses.