Aadil Palkivala on the oil spill

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I always value Aadil’s perspective.  When we can learn to accept our participation in the problem, we will have the power to change our course.

In Purna Yoga, everything — from the greatest disasters, to personal challenges, to the seeming insignificance of breaking a glass — must be viewed through the yogic perspective of cause and effect, so that we may take personal responsibility for our lives.  Purna Yoga teaches us to look at each of our actions, thoughts, and feelings and to take full ownership of our choices and their effect upon the world.

When we break a glass, it may be easy to accept the consequences of our choice: we clean up the broken glass, and resolve to be more aware and respectful of material objects. But when the problem is an oil spill of devastating proportions, it may be a little harder to accept personal responsibility. For, no matter how you look at it, each one of us is personally responsible for this oil spill.

Now before we all want to bury our heads in our hands and never look up, let me tell you that while this burden is shared by all of us, and it only takes a few of us to make a difference.

So, what do we, as yoga students, do? The first thing we have to do is to understand what is really happening and why. Energy sources such as oil and coal were pressed into the earth thousands of millennia ago. These resources were meant to be left alone and were put into the earth to sustain the earth and were never meant to be brought up to the surface. When we go inside the earth and pull out what is meant to be kept inside, there are going to be problems.

Very often you will hear that coal and oil are the black fuel from hell, while solar and wind are the bright energies from heaven. These resources are designed to be used because they are so accessible! However, because solar and wind energies are practically free, there is not much financial gain for large corporations for promoting solar and wind. Having made the decision as a race to use oil, we now need to decide what to do. We have to ask ourselves if it right to use so much fuel. Is this in integrity with our purpose?  Are we willing to change in order to save our planet?

Second, we must understand the ramifications of this spill on all of us. The oil is polluting the water and the atmosphere as it evaporates. The oil is turning into tar balls ranging in size from pin heads to golf balls. Since fish do not distinguish between oil and food, when they open their mouth, tiny tar balls are swallowed and become part of the fish. If we consume these fish, or the fish that ate these fish, we are bringing these toxins into our bodies. Very soon we will have to stop eating fish until there is a total disintegration of the oil itself. This may take decades.

Third, we must do our work by inviting Divine Light into the earth and into the oil. We must ask with deep sincerity for the protection and the transformation of this dark energy that has been violated, that has been yanked out from the earth. Therefore it is important that students of yoga bring as much light as possible into the oil spill and into the earth, and ask The Divine to help us find a more peaceful resolution to our energy issues, ones that do not interfere with nature. As Margaret Mead wrote, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” The Divine only needs a small group of people willing to pray with enough sincerity for real and lasting change to occur.

P.S. I have posted on our blog an article about another of the root casues to the oil spill – corporate deregulation – that I hope you will all read. It was written by Barbara Streisand for The Huffington Post.

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