September 2017

The fires are burning in LA. The rains are flooding in Houston. And after endless months of violence against innocent people, after witnessing our most ignorant, small minded, destructive, cruel, senseless selves… a lotus has blossomed from the mud.  There’s an epic force in nature that pushes plants up through cracks in the sidewalks. That same essence, our own life force, is on stunning display right now. We saw it unfold before us all this week. An inexplicable rush to help, to save, to rescue. They said they drove their family boats up the street to bring neighbors to safety, but as soon as they’d made the rescue and turned around, their boat could not get back out. Still, with the determination of a seed intent upon survival, they pushed through impossible odds.

As yogi’s we take vows – ethical, moral, spiritual commitments. The very first, grand vow, is to do no harm; ahimsa.  As we progress on the path – we grow that intention bigger.  The Dalai Lama dedicates himself to the Bodhi Sattva vow each morning: to liberate, to save, all sentient beings everywhere. These women and men who race towards the fires in this intense LA heat, these everyday people who summoned their own bravery and dignity and immense compassion, have brought those vows to life before our eyes.  Seemingly without hesitation or fear or resentment or greed of any kind, these heroes leap forward, not with their heads but with their hearts.

We need them now.  They’re the embodiment of a reminder: what is possible for each of us. Our innate and tremendous capacity to rise above the floods and flames of our own minds and lives, to connect to what matters most – this phenomenal life we live together, and the commitment and connection we have to one another.