In times of war, sorrow courses through our veins and our hearts bleed droplets of grief. In the face of such immense suffering, we are perplexed and deeply saddened. How could people wreak such ruin upon each other?
War evokes such existential sorrow as violence, divisiveness, terror and hate perpetuate samsara. Samsara is the endless cycle of suffering, carried out by the blind eye of aggression. Violence breeds more violence.
For those of us committed to realizing an undivided mind, and a heart that is wide open, it is shockingly painful to witness senseless acts of war. War ensues when people get caught in the snare of dichotomizing belief– taking sides, each side deeming themselves to be right and the other wrong, vowing revenge. For those of us on the path of yoga, the aim is to reconcile split-mindedness, knowing that a divided mind perpetuates personal and collective suffering.
The outbreak of war in the Middle East emboldens us to be more committed to loving kindness, tolerance, and non-harming (the first vow in yoga, ahimsa). While there is never perfect harmony between peoples of the world, we must strive for unity and peace. On the world’s stage, we must move away from dualistic thinking and narrowed mindsets of us versus them and find a way to greater compassionate presence.