[Catalyst 11 - 2015] Historic Yoga Day Summit - A Global Celebration on June 21, 2015
LETTER FROM ACTING-CEO BEN HART
At the moment, Stephen Dinan, Devaa Haley Mitchell and a team of Shift Network community members are on an incredible adventure in the jungles of Ecuador, which we’ll share more about that in the future. In the meantime, Stephen has asked me to step in as Acting CEO while he is away.
It is with great joy that I announce that the Shift Network, UPLIFT, Parmarth Niketan Ashram (Rishikesh, India), Gaiam TV, UNIFY and others are celebrating the first United Nations International Day of Yoga with a free Yoga Day Summit – click here to register.
"Yoga Day" is a historic event as the modern world celebrates the ancient science of yoga and its global impact. The Yoga Day Summit will feature over 8 hours of FREE video interviews, classes and music.
UPLIFT is providing a powerful segment on Yoga For Change — how yoga is transforming lives in schools, businesses, prisons and beyond.
The Shift Network is sharing several videos, including Roots of Yoga with interviews of yogis in Rishikesh, India; and Yoga & Healing, how yoga is helping people heal from mental, emotional, physical and spiritual challenges.
The Yoga Day Summit also will feature excerpts from the film Awake: The Life of Yogananda, along with special guest interviews of people influenced by Yogananda including Russell Simmons and New York Times #1 bestseller Michael A. Singer. Also, award-winning filmmaker Raja Choudhury and the Ministry of External Affairs of India have produced a powerful video on Yoga: Harmony with Nature.
UNIFY is organizing grassroots yoga events around the world that will culminate in synchronized global meditations.
Yoga Day is a global celebration and you can participate – click here!! We would love your partnership in helping spread the word!
In this edition of The Catalyst we have a beautiful excerpt from Michael A. Singer’s new book The Surrender Experiment, which has been incredibly inspiring to several of us at The Shift Network.
We also have powerful articles from Lisa Leeman (co-director of Awake: The Life of Yogananda), Dr. Joseph Michael Levry and Kirsten Warner, along with a special sneak preview of Spiritual Cinema’s new film, Opposite Field (see featured article and video).
Our friend Patrick Kronfli shares insights about meditation that inspired him to co-create UNIFY.org (See Member Profile).
Our Shift Philanthropy features the International Indigenous Leaders Gathering. Our very own Alison Marks and Philip Hellmich are joining Chief Phil Lane, Jr. and other friends at that event this weekend. Our featured artist is Miranda Macpherson, a Shift Network faculty whose mantras for awakening are heavenly.
The inspiring true story of the first African team ever to play in the Little League World Series. The boys exhibit a depth of character and persistence that help overcome a childhood spent in poverty. A documentary with a warm portrait of some unexpected heroes laced with suspense and concern over the ultimate outcome. Opposite Field is only available for a limited time. Activate your free trial of Spiritual Cinema Circle + Gaiam TV right now. See article below for more info.
Life rarely unfolds exactly as we want it to. And if we stop and think about it, that makes perfect sense. The scope of life is universal, and the fact that we are not actually in control of life’s events should be self-evident. The Universe has been around for 13.8 billion years, and the processes that determine the flow of life around us did not begin when we were born, nor will they end when we die. What manifests in front of us at any given moment is actually something truly extraordinary — it is the end-result of all the forces that have been interacting together for billions of years. We are not responsible for even the tiniest fraction of what is manifesting around us. Nonetheless, we walk around constantly trying to control and determine what will happen in our lives. No wonder there’s so much tension, anxiety, and fear. Each of us actually believes that things should be the way we want them, instead of being the natural result of all the forces of creation.
To read more, click here.
In the last few years, the Smithsonian Institute mounted a national exhibit titled "Yoga: The Art of Transformation;" Loyola Marymount University launched the first Masters Degree in Yoga Studies in the U.S; and the first Hindu representative was elected to Congress, taking the oath of office on her well-worn copy of the Bhagavad Gita, India’s classic Yogic scripture.
Yoga seems to have reached a tipping point in America, fully accepted in mainstream institutions — and yet, in 2013, a group of parents sued the Encinitas, CA school district, claiming that Yoga in the schools was a violation of church and state.
So some Americans are still wondering — is Yoga a religion, an exercise regimen, or something else entirely? And how, and why, has the ancient Indian practice of Yoga become a household word, something practiced by more than 20 million Americans (and growing) — in their homes, at yoga studios, on corporate retreats, and even at the Pentagon.
To read more, click here.
Naam Yoga is more than yoga, as it combines esoteric spiritual methodologies from the East and West into a comprehensive, yet accessible, practice. It incorporates the use of movement/poses, breath work, hand positions (mudras) and chanting of healing meditations (mantra) in a systematic way designed to heal disease, relieve chronic and emotional pain, manage stress, release self-limiting thought patterns, reduce anxiety, depression, and bring balance to the body, mind and spirit. Naam Yoga is a holistic system for self-healing and self-realization that addresses the entire being while harmonizing the individual with life itself . . . [read more]
Just over two years ago, I was teaching at a women’s retreat in India when I had a profound experience that made me decide to give up teaching yoga.
It had been raining heavy for several days. It was February in the foothills of the Himalayas, so when the storm came in, the electricity went out. There were long stretches where we had no lights, no hot water and everything was cold, wet and dismal.
The film is a joyous hymn that reverberates
with a simple purity.
Go. See. This Film.
—Jamie Maleszka, Leveled magazine
Africa: a giant continent of 54 nations and home to more than a billion people. What do you think of when you think of Africa? My bet is: not baseball.
So when I first heard about a film that links those two subjects, I thought it was a long shot for Spiritual Cinema Circle. But only until I watched the first minute or so, after which I was totally hooked — and you will be too . . . [read more]
Every morning I wake up and I meditate for twenty to thirty minutes. I then put on my running shoes and go outside to stretch, jog, and set the energetic momentum for my day. Every push-up is infused with an intention. Every stretch has an internal vision I’m creating in my life. Every sprint is fueled with an emotion I’m letting go of or choosing to embody. I jump into the cold ocean and let go of a fear I am feeling in my life. I walk back to my house focused on the meetings I have scheduled for the day and infuse my imagination with successful emotions. My morning routine sets the tone for my entire life . . . [read more]
Organize a Yoga Flash Mob in your city center on Global Yoga Day, June 21. We can help you. Find out how at www.unify.org.
(The filmmakers were interviewed in the Summer of Peace, the recording is available for free.)
Michael A. Singer, author of #1 New York Times bestseller The Untethered Soul, tells the amazing story of what happened when, after a deep spiritual awakening, he decided to let go of his personal preferences and simply let life call the shots. The events that transpire will both challenge your deepest assumptions about life and inspire you to look at your own life in a radically different way.
The Surrender Experiment takes the teachings of The Untethered Soul and applies them to real life circumstances. Michael Singer uses the extraordinary events of his own life to teach the process of deep inner surrender that leads to spiritual liberation.
Pre-order your copy and receive a free audio recording from Michael Singer. To learn more, click here.
Campaign Nonviolence National Conference – Santa Fe, New Mexico – August 6–9, 2015. Presentations, nonviolence workshop, and vigils at Los Alamos on the 70th anniversary of the nuclear age. Featured speakers include James Lawson, Erica Chenoweth, Roshi Joan Halifax, John Dear, Kathy Kelly, Lennox Yearwood, Jr, Kit Evans-Ford, Medea Benjamin, and Ken Butigan. To learn more, click here.
Twin Oaks Communities Conference – Sept. 4–7, 2015 – Labor Day Weekend. If you want to live according to the values of cooperation, sustainability, and equality this conference is for you. The conference focuses on Intentional Communities, including models such as Ecovillages, Cohousing, and Housing Cooperatives, and the larger cooperative movement, including all kinds of cooperative and collective organizations. To learn more, click here.
The Parliament of the World's Religions – Salt Lake City this October 15–19. The world’s premier interfaith event is coming back to the United States bringing 10,000 people together from 80 nations and 50 faith traditions to commit to the challenges of war, violence and hate speech, climate change, and income inequity. Five nobel peace laureates led by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, an Inaugural Women's Assembly for Global Advancement, religious scholars, faith leaders, and the heart of grassroots will round out 5 days of programming to mobilize the global interfaith movement. The Shift Network can take advantage of advance registration and reclaim the heart of our humanity in 2015 by clicking here.
Praxis Peace Institute: Cuba — November 29 – December 6, 2015 — Praxis Peace Institute, in conjunction with Cuba Educational Travel has prepared a spectacular program for our travelers. Lecture and Discussions with Cuban economists, historians, and journalists at Havana University and the Center for the Study of the Cuban Economy. Visit agricultural cooperatives, organicfarms, and meet locals in their homes, and much more. Details and to Register: click here.
Collective Coherence: Co-Creating a New World – December 2–6, 2015 – Tao Wellness Center, Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico —
HeartMath and Global Coherence Initiative Special Event: Come join us for a transformative experience in Collective Coherence: Co-Creating a New World, our fourth annual Mexico event. We will practice tools for Collective Coherence and learn how this accelerates our personal unfoldment into higher potentials. Energetic connectivity will be explored and why it is effective for co-creating a new world. Be sure to use code "Mexico1" when you register to receive the Early Registration discount rate. To learn more, click here.
World Peace Library – Free Resource — Be sure to take advantage of the World Peace Library, a wide-ranging resource on peace newly compiled by the Shift Network: It contains more than 300 inspiring talks and mini-workshops from individuals such as Archbishop Tutu, Nobel Laureate Jody Williams, Jane Goodall, Deepak Chopra, James O'Dea, Karen Armstrong, Chief Phil Lane and many more. With neuroscientists and lamas, faith-based activists and political leaders, this Library offers something for all in their peacebuilding efforts. The Shift Network has made the World Peace Library a free resource for all and encourages its use to promote peace in your families, schools, and wider community.
1 Billion Acts of Peace — a global community of everyday people performing thoughtful actions that contribute to world peace. The Shift Network is delighted to join Peacejam Foundation, Google, Wells Fargo, Hill+Knowlton Strategies and many others have come together to create the "One Billion Acts of Peace" Campaign — an international global citizens' movement designed to tackle the most important problems facing our planet. To learn more, click here.
• Shakti Summit
• Global Compassion Summit
• Shiva Rea 7-week course
• HeartMath 7-week course
• Lisa Schrader 7-week course
• Enneagram 10-week course
• Oscar Miro-Quesada 8-month intensive
• Friends of Democracy Summit
• Global Shamanism Summit
• Robert Moss 7-week course
• Mirabai Starr 7-week course
• Christine Kloser 7-week course
• Mark Silver 7-week course
• Mingtong Gu 7-week course
• Margaret Paul 9-month intensive
• Mark Matousek 9-month intensive
International Indigenous Leadership Gathering — The Shift Network is delighted to support the St'át'imc Chiefs' Council as it once again oversees the 7th Annual Protecting The Sacred Gathering in St'át'imc Territory, June 4 to June 7, 2015 at the Xaxli'p community (Lillooet, BC, Canada). The theme is "Protecting the Sacred." People from around the globe are coming to camp together to witness, partake in scheduled ceremonies and discussions. To learn more, click here.
Parmarth Niketan is a true spiritual haven, lying on the holy banks of Mother Ganga in the lap of the lush Himalayas. It is the largest ashram in Rishikesh, providing its thousands of pilgrims who come from all corners of the Earth with a clean, pure and sacred atmosphere as well as abundant, beautiful gardens. With over 1,000 rooms, the facilities are a perfect blend of modern amenities and traditional, spiritual simplicity. Parmarth Niketan is located in Swargashram, on the main road, just on the banks of the sacred Ganges River. To learn more, click here.
I recently had the pleasure of meeting Miranda Macpherson in person and was immediately struck by her depth of presence. Miranda is inspired by the silent presence of Sri Ramana Maharshi and has led a life of complete surrender to Spirit’s guidance. Miranda is known for her refined capacity to guide others into direct experience of the Sacred. When Miranda speaks and chants there is a transmission that flows through her that takes one home to the essence of their true Self. I was so moved by Miranda that I ordered her album The Heart of Being and have been listening to it day and night. Miranda brings the ancient Indian mantras to life in a profound way. If you are looking for comfort and deep inspiration, I highly recommend Miranda’s The Heart of Being. To hear a sample and/or order the album, click here.