By Janet Howard
The Adi Mantra, Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo (I bow to the divine teacher within), reminds us that every experience, every encounter, can be a moment to learn, to grow. We can give thanks for opportunities for growth instead of seeing experiences as punishment.
After my yoga set and during mantra one dawn, I sat in stillness, able to see more clearly. The Covid-19 virus isn’t about me. It’s not about my family vacation that is cancelled. Staying isolated is an act of seva, selfless giving, giving to neighbors, to the community, to ourselves. Working together for all. This pandemic is a wake-up call for all of us. The wake-up call may bring different messages, depending on what each of us needs to learn.
Covid-19 got our attention. It grabbed us by the scruff of the neck and made us take notice. The World Health Organization has defined it as a pandemic. The World Health Organization has also told us that climate change is the defining issue of the 21st century. Do you feel the Earth grabbing you by the scruff of the neck? If we don’t listen, the message will only get louder and harder to ignore.
The planet is crying out for our support. She’s demanding that we hear her. Our relationship with her is a partnership. April 22 is the 50th anniversary of Earth Day and it’s the year of climate action. Join me in thanking our Mother Earth for all of her gifts every day. Give thanks for water, food, air, soil, and equality for all people, all creatures, plants, air and waterways. For big rocks, red dirt and vast sky. She needs to hear from us. She needs to feel us. She needs to know we love her.
Join me in chanting mantra. Make a commitment for 40 days to help free the mind, experience flexibility and get through this stressful time. Alleviate worrisome thoughts, let go of desires and fears. Accept that we are not in control and are needed now. We can drop into our hearts and (if we are fortunate) distance ourselves from others for a little while, taking the time to go inward.
Introverts took to the streets in climate marches. Now the social or busy ones can try slowing down and looking inward. That’s what we need to do right now—look inward and listen to our selves, listen to the wisdom that is within each of us. Going inward isn’t easy. It’s easier to keep ourselves busy, to keep the chattering in our minds as a distraction. Yes, it can get uncomfortable but it’s what we need as a global community—to connect with the Earth and its rhythm and to behave responsibly.
I hope you’ll join me wherever you are in giving thanks to Mother Earth for all her gifts; giving thanks to all those on the front lines (from health care workers to grocery store workers), and chant sacred sound for peace.
Kundalini Yoga transformed Janet Howard’s life (Deg Ajeet Kaur), helping her through big life changes with an increased sense of calm, emotional healing, self-acceptance and trust in the flow of life. Her daily sadhana is her gift to herself and the calm consistency in a chaotic, ever-changing world. Yes, she gets thrown off balance regularly, but each morning, she gets back to her center, strong, relaxed and at peace.
With an over 25 year career in health care environmental stewardship (www.practicegreenhealth.org), Janet’s passion lies in healing the planet, feeling love, respect and appreciation for all living things and connecting with the energy in nature. On the side, Janet established Rosehip26 for Air BNB and Reiki Integrative Touch offering. Janet received her Level One Instructor Certification in May 2018 and teaches a weekly class at White Barn Studio and online in Western MA. Learn more at https://www.rosehip26.com/kundalini-yoga