By Laurie Stark

According to Swami Satchidananda, a real spiritual experience means to see the unity in diversity. 

The practice of yoga teaches us to accept ourselves where we are, how we are and it’s then that we meet the truth of who we are.

We say “yes” to all our feelings, rather than turn away from what’s uncomfortable or frightening, we’re able to soften to our struggles and accept what comes and love ourselves as we move through life

So it is with the world around us. When we recognize and accept the experiences of others, we increase our capacity to connect with all humanity and the divinity in every person, no matter our differences or distance and we’re moved more and more to be of service. When we turn towards the pain being experienced globally, we’re called to connect and remain connected not to suffer alongside one another but to increase the amount of love and care in and for all life.

When the war in Ukraine began and as it’s continued, we’ve been given daily access to what’s occurring and to the plight of the people involved. This isn’t always the case. The other 21 countries currently classified as being at war are countries of color and they aren’t receiving or benefiting from the same coverage. There’s no difference in the pain they experience or the amount of need that exists, just the boundaries we create to keep ourselves separate.

No matter the region or the type of conflict each of these nations suffer similarly because war brings with it not only violence, terror and displacement, but food insecurity or famine, the need for clean water and hygienic supplies, the need for medical supplies, attention and facilities. It destroys the land that so many depend on for life and it separates people from their families and from their culture, from all sense of safety and from all that they’ve known. In this there is no difference between Ethiopia and Algeria, Ukraine and Colombia, Cameroon and Myanmar…it’s we who decide, not the news coverage, how aware we are of the circumstances of our human brothers and sisters. It’s our choice, our responsibility to stand with and for them.  

When we avoid what’s happening, we detach from ourselves and everyone else. If we hope to serve the world, we must place ourselves squarely in it, allowing what exists to touch us. In order to serve our own tender hearts we cannot ignore the humanity in all people everywhere, we’re inextricably, blessedly, linked and we’re called to recognize ourselves in one another, always.

We lift our voices and call from the depths of our souls for peace for all who are in pain.

Afghanistan civil war, terrorist insurgency
Algeria terrorist insurgency
Burkina Faso  terrorist insurgency
Cameroon  terrorist insurgency
Chad  terrorist insurgency
Colombia  civil war and drug war
Democratic Republic of the Congo  terrorist insurgency
Ethiopia/Eritrea  civil war
Iraq  terrorist insurgency and political unrest
Libya  civil war and terrorist insurgency
Mali  civil war and terrorist insurgency
Mexico  drug war
Mozambique  terrorist insurgency
Myanmar  civil war
Niger  terrorist insurgency
Nigeria  terrorist insurgency
South Sudan  ethnic violence/terrorism
Syria  civil war
Tanzania  terrorist insurgency
Tunisia  terrorist insurgency
Ukraine  war of aggression

United States  racial and domestic terrorismYemen  civil war

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Hamsa Cho

Hamsa Cho



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