Because the September Focus of the Month was based on the very first yoga sutra: atha yoganushasanam (atha NOW, yoga UNION, anu ATOM or very small being or detail, shas TO INSTRUCT, asanam CONNECTION TO MOTHER EARTH: NOW this is YOGA as I have witnessed it in EVERY TINY DETAIL in NATURE), I have spent the last month thinking about living in a bubble. But not in a bad way.
Sometimes, as yogis, we get frustratingly insular, prefacing conversation with statements like ‘MY journey’ or ‘MY path’ or ‘MY truth’. So our small selves get smaller as our egos and neurosis increase. Yoga cannot be experienced in this way, because, whether or not we care to admit it, we are all a part of everyone’s existence and therefore part of everyone’s ‘journey’. The SECRET therefore to making our Selves bigger is to see that even our smallest actions right NOW can have a lasting effect on the happiness of many.
Years ago, my holy teachers Sharon Gannon and David Life would bring soy milk to their local coffee shop in East Village, NYC. This small action was previously unheard of. But as other people began to enquire and then advocate for animals themselves, the coffee shop began to factor soy milk into their weekly budget. And so did their competition.
Of course now you can get soy lattes everywhere. And if you’re even mildly interested in vegan cuisine you may be interested to know that New York now has over 100 vegan/vegetarian restaurants. If you wanted to investigate a little deeper, you would be able to track this incredible growth from several key places including NYC Chinatown and Life Cafe in the East Village, the humble little veg establishment David Life started long ago in order to hang out with his friends all day.
I’ve noticed this kind of growth happening in key places right here at home: Newtown/Enmore, Cabramatta and the Blue Mountains. Within just days of picking up my fearless mentor Jessica from the airport, we’ve managed to squeeze in several amazing meals from 3 completely vegan establishments. Rubyfruit, Leura of course (where the beautiful ladies that run it know me by name and dessert preference), Sadhana Kitchen, Newtown (which kind of feels like it’s my own kitchen as it’s attached to the Jivamukti Centre, my friends ‘not cook’ there and I eat there THAT much) and now Spoons Vegetarian Butchery, just around the corner from Sadhana. We were Spoon’s FIRST customers! And I could hardly contain my excitement when hoeing into a sausage sandwich with all the trimmings, as well as Texan nuggets and deep fried mushrooms. I’m sure Jessica ate something as well but by that stage I couldn’t actually see her…
Today happens to be World Vegetarian Day AND the Feast Day of my all time hero, St Francis of Assisi. If right NOW (atha) you decided to commit to Meat Free Mondays, your seemingly tiny action of forgoing meat for one day per week would do much more for Mother Nature and ALL her little creatures than investing in a prius. And if you’re local – ie from Sydney – and you need a bit of inspiration, you can find me and many other upstarts at Cruelty Free Fair, 28th October. I’ll be wearing a Yogeeks ‘Herbivore’ shirt and possibly lying in a self-induced coma somewhere.
Years ago, I often felt like being an animal activist was like living inside a bubble. I still do… except that bubble is considerably larger, more delicious and houses countless new friends.