How Yoga Will Save the World

After decades of incredible improvements to the human condition, we are moving backwards. All that hard-won progress is threatened by the ramifications of climate change on all levels –political, social, and environmental. Fires, floods, famine, dictators, and the rise of nationalism may wipe out billions spent on humanitarian aid efforts and billions of human lives stand at the brink of disaster once more.

We cannot overcome today’s challenges by meeting them at the level that they exist, we must rise above them to find superconscious solutions.

I spent the last fifteen years working for humanitarian organizations, striving to provide education, dignity, and opportunity to disenfranchised populations around the world. Progress in the realm of the human condition has been incredible since the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were articulated by the United Nations in 2000.

The MDGs were lofty, and the progress through 2015 was incredible:

(1)     Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger…people living in extreme poverty reduced by half, from 2 billion to 800 million, since 1990.

(2)     Achieve universal primary education…The primary school net enrollment rate in developing regions has reached 91% out-of-school youth reduced by half.

(3)     Promote gender equality and empower women… Ninety percent of countries have more women in parliament than in 1995.

(4)     Reduce child mortality; and (5) Improve maternal health …Maternal and child mortality rates reduced by nearly half.

(6)     Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases…HIV/AIDS infections fell 40%, over 6.2 million malarial deaths were averted, and tuberculosis prevention saved 37 million lives 2000-2013.

(7)     Ensure environmental sustainability…1.9 billion people gained access to piped, clean water, and 98% of ozone-depleting sources have been eliminated since 1990.

(8)     Develop a global partnership for development…official development assistance from developed countries increased 66% in real terms 2000-2014.

These are just a few of the accomplishments that are now threatened by the consequences of climate change.

Why are we moving backwards? How on God’s green earth can this happen? In truth, lasting progress will only happen when the collective human consciousness rises above the darkness that plagues it. This is where the spiritual wisdom of the east offers something new.

I’m not talking about an evangelical approach to spreading the practices of yoga across the globe. I’m talking about people of all faiths and no faith at all, learning to turn within to find lasting solutions.

The wisdom of the east is simple:

  1. Outer experiences are shaped by inner experiences. Master your inner Self and you can Master the world.
  2. We are one. All of creation is a manifestation of consciousness. Realize oneness with all and you will begin to behave in attunement with right-action. You can see this in the scientific fact that we are all made of the same fundamental elements – carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus, and sulfur. As science continues to refine its understanding of life, it finds only greater and greater connection between all creation.
  3. The purpose of life is to realize the true Self, not merely by intellect, but through the fires of experience. The great Masters of all spiritual paths agree, it’s only their followers who don’t. As humanity begins to develop inner experiences of the Divine, we will all know this truth for ourselves. That is the science of meditation.

My guru, Paramhansa Yogananda, came to America in 1920 to bring the spiritual power of the east together with the material progress of the west. Nearly 100 years later, the proof of the success of his mission is all around you. Meditation, yoga, and the practice of inner transformation pervade American culture and are on the rise worldwide.

Lasting peace and harmony will come in time, as humanity realizes its inner soul qualities (light, sound, peace, calmness, love, joy, wisdom, and power) and innate unity. That is how yoga will save the world. So, let’s do the work together, in the spirit of world-brotherhood, and Be the Change we wish to see in the world.

I now use my work-life to pursue the goal of uplifting human consciousness. Ananda is the channel for this critical mission and we recently launched a campaign called Be the Change to create a global community of friends who are dedicated to raising their own consciousness and thus, the world’s.

Recently the Spiritual Directors of Ananda, Nayaswamis Jyotish and Devi, received the Global Ambassador Peace Award at the United Nations Tillman Chapel and spoke beautifully on this very topic:

Namaste

Published by Gita Matlock

Gita is a writer, speaker, and nonprofit professional. She earned a bachelors degree in international studies from Pepperdine University and a masters degree in nonprofit administration from the University of San Francisco. She has traveled extensively and held leadership positions with national and international nonprofit organizations. She was born, raised, and now resides with her husband and two children at Ananda Village, the first of eight cooperative Kriya Yoga communities founded by Swami Kriyananda, a direct disciple of Paramhansa Yogananda.

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