To listen to an audio recording of this post, press play below. I encourage you to check out the YouTube experiment below as a reference to some of the ideas mentioned.
The Las Vegas shootings and the whirlwind that ensued made last week quite intense. No matter what line of thinking you follow – the guy had gambling problems, he had been converted to ISIS, ISIS killed him and were responsible for the shootings, etc. – it’s scary and depressing. Not to mention Tom Petty passed. But in times like these, Petty’s words “but I won’t back down” ring in my head. And as I meditate on the escalating violence in the world, natural and man-made, my yoga practice once again offers perspective and ideas to consider. One was the concept of Ahimsa.
In yogic philosophy, ahimsa is the first of the five Yamas, self-regulating behaviors involving our interactions with people and the world as a whole. It can be distilled into a practice of nonviolence toward all living things. At first glance, it seems pretty obvious and easy. “I’m a lover, not a fighter.” Agreed. I don’t much want to go out and get in a fistfight. I love my temple and don’t want to subject it or another’ to potential harm. I want to heal and nourish the body, not hurt it.
But violence extends beyond physical altercations. For example, “Them are fightin’ words!” Speech is a very human quality, and what we say matters. We create our words through the vibration of our larynx folds. We literally set vibrations in motion with each word we say. Hum for a moment and feel your throat…can you feel the vibrations? (heh) Now consider that nails-on-a-chalkboard sound. Different vibrations affect us differently, and different words have different qualities of vibrations. Think about the words you use. How often are they complaining? Affirming? Shit-talking? Praising? Are you conscious of what you say? What do your words reflect of you?
“Speech is the mirror of the soul: as a man speaks, so is he.” – Publilius Syrus
Although bringing awareness to the quality of your words is a great place to begin, ahimsa doesn’t stop there. It’s an aspect of our emotions, feelings, and thoughts as well. Those, too, are all vibrations we create and offer the world. When we are angry, harboring resentment toward others, when we criticize ourselves, and when we are talking $#!+…all of those moments we are outputting negative and ugly vibrations.
Consider the Dr. Masaru Emoto Water Experiment. This scientist charged water with certain words, froze the water, and with awesome technology took pictures of the water crystals. “Water from bottles that were labeled with positive messages have intricate structures and shiny, diamond-like reflective qualities. Those that were labeled with negative thoughts have deformed, collapsed structures with black holes and yellow-tinged edge.” The words weren’t even spoken, just written on the container (so if any of you have seen my watering can that has words like beauty, grow, and strength written on it, you understand why 🙂 ) and yet they had the power to transform the water patterns.
Consider again Ahimsa, nonviolence, in your life. What is the quality of your thoughts, words, and actions? What kind of crystal would they freeze into? A beautiful, sacred geometry, harmonious crystal? A violent, collapsed, discordant crystal? And if like attracts like…consider what frequency you are inviting into your life as a result of what you are outputting.
Whether we think, feel, or say them we emanate vibrations. Are you helping to raise the vibrations of the world or to lower them?
We are an instrument in this symphonic universe in which we live. It’s one of the reasons I love gong baths so much! I think my water crystals are so much more beautiful after a sound healing of that vibrational intensity. I feel tuned to the harmony of the universe. And it’s why I’m so excited about our Sacred Circle Yoga Retreat and Sound Healing. At this half-day retreat, we work with our vibrations on a variety of levels to create new patterns. What we say and think matters. Integrating intentional work with tools like mantras, affirmations, breathwork, and movement into our sadhana, our daily practice, helps us to be purposeful with our vibrations and become co-creators in this world.
Consider, what instrument would you be? What kind of song is your body playing? What patterns are you designing?