Monday, August 27, 2012

Unity in Diversity

On my way to the Sivananda Ashram in New York I'm sitting on the bus as a silent passerby to the miles and miles of forest that line the highway. Allowing my mind to wander, I notice the variations in natural colors and shapes. What appears to be a collage of wooded land, is quite simply a multitude of names and forms that are living harmoniously together... appearing as one.

In this moment of observation my mind is sweetly reminded of one of Swami Vishnudevananda's main teachings "Unity in Diversity."

Why is it that we, as a human species, can so easily fall in love with the forest, embracing its diversity, yet become so separate in our views with regards to another? When did we as a species begin to classify, judge and defend? Why do we put so much effort into cultivating uniformity and degrading uniqueness? Why should we all look, talk and dress the same? Why should we have only one religion? Why can't we accept others views and give them equal credit as our own?

It seems strange to me that as a human, we can accept the diversity in nature but not in our own lives.

Our practice for the week...

Try seeing all the various names and forms that come before you as ONE living, breathing organism. Try seeing all things as a part of the whole; no different than equally accepting all the various names and forms of the forest.

Merge into the diversity. Breathe in the diversity. Fully accept another's opinion. Support another's perspective. Thrive in life's natural diversity and bear witness to the unification which is its result.

Thank you Swamiji for such an amazing teaching!