3 Characteristics of Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” 
― Martin Luther King Jr.A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches

MLK

  Nobel Peace Prize Winner

Today is a great opportunity, not only to remember Martin Luther King, Jr., but to activate in your life today, and forward, the very characteristics that made him a great leader.

In your own life and business, how can the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. be a guide for you?

Dream

One characteristic comes from his famous speech “I Have a Dream.”

What is your dream for the world? With all the resources and cooperation you need, what changes would you make?

Envision the world you want to live in and the world you want to share with those you love.

What is your dream for your own life?

Leadership

Martin Luther King, Jr. fought for equality when others would not. His life was one of education, service and leadership. He was involved in several groups and committees and learned to support and be supported in his endeavors in the civil rights movement.

How have you prepared yourself educationally to attain the goals you desire?

What services have you provided to help your community, a group or an individual? What services have you given to support your business?

How have you served in a leadership position and where have you found support for your causes?

Persistence

Seemingly, taking a stand for Civil Rights alone, Martin Luther King, Jr. did not quit. Even while incarcerated he continued to work on his dream. He didn’t give up under the most difficult circumstances.

What are the hurdles you have to overcome to create your dream?

Today, what do you need to overcome to finish your project, take the next step or regain your focus?

What is the end result for your persistence? What is the planned goal and what will be your reward?


Interview with Swami Samayananda Part 2

This interview was taken at Yashodhara Ashram in British Columbia, Canada on the beautiful Kootenay Lake.

(Some sections have been edited for grammar.)

Candess: When I hear you talk, it sounds like what’s happening is that you are keeping the truth of what Swami Radha had in terms of living out what she taught, to truly keep living it and not have a separation.

Swami Samayanda: Yes, and no matter what the changes are that happen, there is that very solid core that cannot change, because that is what an Ashram is. It is the center of one teacher’s teachings and we are all committed to that. To what she gave us and in our gratitude, that is what we give back. These have to be applied to what is happening in the world. Our focus now is to be carbon neutral by 2013. We are not cut off from the world. Our sustainability, how do we care for our forests? Our development, Yashodhara Heights, three cabins that we built are all extremely green. We are very much in tune with what is happening with the world and what the concerns are in the world, and bringing them right in to our community, right here. We are always asking. We can go back to her teachings and it is all there. Carbon neutral, it is all there. Sustainability, it is all there. We say, “I am sustained by Divine Light, I am sustained by the teachings.” So how do we bring that out then, into the actual physical place we work and to the people who come.

Candess:  That is exciting. The more I hear about this, I am so grateful I am here. My connection with the Spokane Radha House has been mostly through Yoga for Health and Healing and the Dream Yoga. There are a lot of forms of yoga other than the physical. Can you tell me more about yoga?

Swami Samayanda: It is interesting in the West, we have taken one yoga practice out of the entire yogic system and we call it yoga. It’s basically Hatha Yoga. It’s working with the body. It is mainstream. When you say the word yoga, everybody thinks of a studio and doing postures and that kind of thing. Yoga, actually if you look at the original sutras, the yoga sutras by Patanjali; asanas are a very tiny, tiny, part of the yogic system. Their original intent is to prepare the body to be still for meditation and other yogic practices.  I see that changing in the West, where a lot of people were just interested in the physical part of it. More and more I hear people say, I know there is more. What more is there? There has got to be more to this. There are probably about 39 kinds of yoga, of which Hatha is just one. What Swami Radha brought back were several that we work with here.

We work with Dream Yoga, which is the interpretation, learning to interpret our own dream messages. We work with Kundalini Yoga which is the study of, really of how we use energy, how we express ourselves, the choices we make and how that comes out in our speech, in our behavior, in our thoughts. We also work with the Yoga of Light and our primary way of doing that is through the standing practice of doing the Divine Light Invocation. We focus on Mantra Yoga, which is the yoga of chanting, sound, vibration. We work with Karma Yoga. Karma Yoga is the basis actually of our Ashram which is the yoga of action. Work is service. It is different than just volunteering. We actually do the yoga and ask ourselves what we are learning from it. What is the work teaching us? It is not just doing the work, getting the work done itself, its what we are learning in that process.

(next . . . Part 3)


Listening to my body at the Ashram!

The last 10 days of July I had an incredible experience at the Yasodhara Ashram
in beautiful British Columbia. I was aware of this Ashram because of the Radha
Yoga Center in Spokane where I have taken yoga and dream classes for several
years.

You may be aware of my experience with adrenal fatigue in 2008
and 2009. At the retreat one day our focus was on Relaxation and Rest. What
happened for me was I realized (again) I didn’t know how to rest. Previously, I
would get tired and use caffeine and sugar to push through. We experienced
Hidden Language Yoga and it was wonderful. After the pose, we journaled. First
we did the Bridge and Tranquility Poses to become aware of our spine. Then we
did the Cobra. We dialogued with ourselves after each pose. The question I
journaled with was “What do I surrender to?” The answer could be another blog or
newsletter. For me my back clearly disclosed that it needed further support and
in the cobra I understood my abdomen needs to support my back. This will
alleviate the back twinges I get occasionally.

Also, I contemplated the
relationship between Joy and Surrender. I clearly understood I fight with mySelf
inwardly by choosing confusion and indecision rather than surrendering and
moving into a state of wait. I fight outwardly by resisting rather than
accepting and letting life unfold. When I surrender, there is no struggle and I
feel JOY!

Class focused on rest and we did some relaxation and
visualization exercises. It was delightful. During lunch and on our break we
were asked to be in silence. I spend a lot of time alone, but I became aware of
how much rest I get when I am in conscious silence.

Photobucket

I spent time on the beach of Kootenay Lake and had quite a walk back up to my room in Saraswati. As
I began the journey back I decided to bring rest into my life. I will write more
about this when I write and share my Karma Yoga experience. On the way back I
decided to stop to rest after a number of steps. I looked at the flowers, the
trees, the birds, the cherries and the apples on each rest stop. When I got to
the steps I decided to take 10 steps and rest, 10 steps and rest. It was an
incredible experience. Whenever I stopped, the colors were so much more grand!

My desire for the retreat was rest. Now I am rested, have learned
incredible tools and am more conscious of my life and my relationship with the
Divine!

Bless your heart, Candess