By Victoria Lynes/Atmabir Kaur
“Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let the pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place.”
The morning I woke to the devastating news of the Mosque massacres in my home country of New Zealand, I wept—as did so many of my fellow citizens and people from all around the globe. We often get moved into action because of tragedy that touches close to home, be it geographically or emotionally. But as well, it often seems that we are becoming so immune to the witnessing of these types of events.
The initial shock; the anger, the searching for answers. Then the grief of a nation showcased for the world to see. All of it often orchestrated to a melancholy soundtrack on the TV news as they replay the same images over and over; as they repeat the same narrative. Over and over.
Then comes the slow forgetting, only for us to be reminded again if a new piece of the puzzle arises—a newsworthy fact, image or interest story. Maybe we are ashamed to admit that this is us. But what else can we do? This tragic event, along with all of the countless others we bear witness to over a year, will fade. The shock will wear off and we will grow weary when news coverage keeps the story alive, for it is done. Finished. A decision was made to terrorize, cause havoc and pain, and the mission was accomplished—until the next one.
But terrorist attacks don’t happen in New Zealand. “This is not us”—we have heard repeated. Politics aside, it’s not who anyone is. Is it? At least not the majority of the world that are wanting to live a life in peace, tolerance and love.
When I consider how the Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern, has shown up in the face of this tragedy, I apply the words “Spiritual Warrior” to her. It’s a fitting description. She has embodied courage, integrity and grace—oh so much grace, in her actions and her character. She is a true Aquarian leader who has risen up with an empowered radiant body by showing her nation and the world what it is to be brave, compassionate, strong and disciplined. Before she was elected, voters believed in her vision for the country. They believed what she had to say and trusted her authenticity. She had something different to offer. She was stepping into a new age and the country would need her leadership. Now we know why.
As spiritual warriors we are called to stand up for the dignity and human rights of our neighbors, our communities, our nation and our planet. Just like the New Zealand prime minister and the citizens of this beautiful quiet country have done and will continue to do. This horrid event has not created division there, but unity and outpourings of love. As the news continues to fade on this side of the world, and we may grow weary of the story because another has replaced it, the souls directly affected by this event are feeling fortified by a nation that has truly opened their hearts.
How would Yogi Bhajan speak of these acts of violence and hatred--these pre-meditated attacks on a group of people based on ignorance and blind fear. How would he have addressed a nation in mourning if he was their leader?
I believe he would have used his Saturn ways to make his voice heard. I know he would have encouraged a surge of active, powerful, radical love in response to the hatred and fear. For this is surely the only defiance—the growing of a heart-centered world led by kindness, compassion, and love; a world of spiritual warriors ready to rise up with bold hearts and strong truths; a Wahe Guru kind of world led by Jupiter Teachers who are expansive and full of wisdom and blessings—the kind of leaders and teachers who are a fountain of happiness, enthusiasm, love, and joy.
But we need not be a teacher, or a leader of a nation in mourning to do this. To rise up and elevate. To show compassion to those who are mourning and hurting, or to those whose fear has closed their hearts. This is duty that needs to be bestowed upon all of us.
“As we are entering the Age of Aquarius, we have to become responsible, outspoken, leading teachers of this Age. That's what we have trained for and that's what we have grown into. You cannot live under a camouflage. You have to live openly, honestly, brightly, and forthrightly. Your words should be so strong that they affect every heart; your truth should be so pure that it lifts a person's soul to the heights.” Yogi Bhajan, 7/28/02
Again―“Your words should be so strong that they affect every heart; your truth should be so pure that it lifts a person's soul to the heights.” Wow. How beautiful if we could all live like this.
Can we? We can make the attempt. We can get to our mat every day to practice something, anything—long and strong breath of fire for the nervous system, heart opening kriyas, elevating meditations, pranayam that strengthens our aura. We have so many tools in these teachings. We need to work on our neutral minds and our radiant body. This is how we fortify ourselves so we can show up every day and help our planet negate this fear and hate with active, courageous love.
Victoria Lynes/Atmabir Kaur is a Certified KRI Kundalini Yoga Teacher, Radiant Child Yoga Teacher, and IKYTA/YA Member. She teaches Kundalini Yoga in Ottawa, Canada to students from all ages and all walks of life. Her youngest student is 18 months old – her oldest, 97! Having a busy life, operating her own full time yoga business and being a mother of 2 growing boys, Victoria finds peace, neutrality and strength through the regular practice of Kundalini Yoga and Meditation. Her passion is sharing Yoga and Mindfulness with children and she runs her programs in public and private schools. Learn more at: www.yourownpathyoga.com