[Catalyst 12 - 2015] Yoga Day Summit, Summer of Peace and World Peace & Prayer Day
By Stephen Dinan, founder and CEO of The Shift Network
June 21 is a day to celebrate the global shift underway as we come together to mark the first International Day of Yoga, the 20th Annual World Peace and Prayer Day. and the start of the 4th annual Summer of Peace.
The solstice has held both spiritual and social significance throughout the ages and offers an auspicious moment to unite as a global family.
We are celebrating this day with a historic Yoga Day Summit featuring over 8-hours of free videos from the world’s top yogis such as Deepak Chopra, Shiva Rea, Seane Corne, Janet Stone, Tommy Rosen and some of India’s greatest saints such as Swamiji Chidananda Sarasawati.
The Yoga Day Summit offers you exceptional content unlike anything I’ve seen, giving you an overview of yoga from its ancient roots to how yoga is transforming lives around the world. The Yoga Day Summit includes interviews with Swamis and yoginis filmed in Rishikesh, India, the birthplace of yoga, along with yoga classes from Gaiam TV and free music samplers from White Swan and Black Swan Records. We want to thank UPLIFT for being an inspiring co-presenter of the Yoga Day Summit, along with our friends at Parmarth Niketan Ashram, Unify and many other co-sponsors.
To register free for the Yoga Day Summit, click here.
The Yoga Day Summit also signals the start of the Summer of Peace. This year we have a phenomenal lineup that includes Eve Ensler, Karen Armstrong, Ervin Laszlo and dozens of other peacebuilders, along with message from His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Jane Goodall. On June 13, our friend and Evolutionary Leader Deborah Moldow hosted a powerful Summer of Peace pre-launch call to celebrate the 100-day Countdown to the International Day of Peace.
On Tuesday, June 23 the Summer of Peace will feature PeaceJam and One Billion Acts of Peace so we can hear about their work with 13 Nobel Laureates to create informed and thoughtful leaders around the world. (To register free for the Summer of Peace, click here — all recordings are available free too.)
We also want to acknowledge and thank Chief Arvol Looking Horse and our Indigenous brothers and sisters who have taken a stand for recognizing our oneness with the Earth and all of life. Chief Arvol Looking Horse is the 19th Generation Keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe Bundle. Chief Arvol recently sent a personal video message for The Shift Network community (see Featured Video). We encourage all of us to join Chief Arvol and others in prayer and meditation for world peace on June 21. (To learn more about World Peace and Prayer Day, click here.)
This edition of The Catalyst is full of enriching articles on yoga from Chip Richards, Peter Radar, Jacob Devaney, Yoga International, Philip Hellmich and myself, along with beautiful profiles from Jeanie Manchester and Cindy Lusk.
Our Shift Philanthropy this month is the Divine Shakti Foundation, our partners in Rishikesh, India who are supporting women, children and orphans. Our partner spotlight features UPLIFT, our co-presenters of the Yoga Day Summit. And our featured artist is up and coming kirtan performer Idan Meyer.
Chief Arvol Looking Horse shares a heartfelt message about World Peace & Prayer Day, the White Buffalo Calf Woman prophecies and world changes. To learn more about World Peace and Prayer Day, click here.
It's no secret that yoga has taken the West by storm, outpacing the growth and expansion in its native India by many times.
As it expands, the forms are rapidly changing and cross-pollinating with other mind-body-spirit disciplines. Whole new schools of yogic practice are springing up every year. Traditional kirtan music is now sharing the space with hard-rockin' classes (I've even heard country). Yogic innovators are combining yoga with dance, rock-climbing and even surfing. Practitioners from celebrities to cab drivers to schoolteachers to executives are discovering its power to unify body, mind, and soul and create an oasis of peace in the midst of intense modern lives.
June 21, 2015 is the first United Nations International Day of Yoga.
To celebrate this historic occasion, I traveled to Rishikesh, India, in early March to the International Yoga Festival to interview swamis and yoginis on the banks of the Ganges River . . . .
Following the trip to India, I interviewed a wide-range of Western yoga teachers and practitioners. Through these interviews in India and beyond, I gained a birdseye view of the emerging yoga phenomena. Here are 12 reasons why yoga is spreading around the world . . . [read more]
“We need to take those very qualities that we’re learning in the yoga room, and begin to truly apply them in our families, in our local community,
and into our global family as well.”
During the lead up to 2015 World Water Day, I shared a profound conversation with cellular biologist and author of Biology of Belief, Bruce Lipton. In our conversation, Bruce broke down the ‘Science 101′ basics of how our collective thoughts and intent actually influence the atmosphere and state of the world; shining a powerful light on the growing importance and creative possibility of conscious events and synchronized meditations to support the healing and vitality of humanity and the world . . . [read more]
“It’s significant that Yogananda’s first speech in America was called ‘The Science of Religion,’” says author Philip Goldberg, who we interviewed for Awake: The Life of Yogananda. Goldberg’s book, American Veda, documents how Indian spirituality changed the West, and he dedicates an entire chapter to Yogananda who arrived on American shores in 1920 — the quintessential fish-out-of-water. Yogananda was only 27 years old, barely spoke the language and looked like he had emerged from the pages of a mysterious storybook recalling tales from the East. “Many Americans were still getting used to having Jews here,” explains Goldberg in the documentary. “And along comes an exotic Swami in orange robes and a turban.”
Millions of Chinese are embracing the ancient Indian practice of yoga—or at least its American version.
When China’s first yoga studio opened nine years ago, its founders were a couple of women from California. Robyn Wexler had been teaching asana in the gym of a luxury Beijing hotel while looking for a space more conducive to holistic practice. Her partner, Mimi Kuo-Deemer, took photos for a living but was eager to devote more time to yoga instruction. Together, they decided to create what they had sought in vain: “a clean room with a simple wooden floor.”
Sometimes, after spending hours at the computer, I have a deep resistance to doing yoga or any kind of stretching. Mainly because my body hurts from sitting. That’s why doing a little yoga is exactly what my body is crying out for. I can’t go from the office to the yoga mat right away; I need to go on a walk preferably in nature, but sometimes to a local pastry shop. Regardless, just getting out and walking helps me re-inhabit my body after being immersed in work that emphasizes mental focus and a certain level of dissociation from my physical body. Yoga practitioners have known all along but finally science is recognizing that a body-centered practice reduces pain and increases overall health . . . [read more]
I love moving my body and lifting my heart into the light.
Yoga asana is an amazing alchemical process where our limitations are transmuted through breath and movement.
My passion for movement and this alchemical process began as a toddler when I loved to splash about in the pool and hold my breath under water, popping to the surface, exhilarated. I was suddenly aware of my breath and the brightness of the day and how I was filled with this pulsing life force that is joy. So essentially, joy has been my life’s exploration. When I feel this joy I know that I’m connected to my heart and to my life’s purpose where the teaching of yoga flows effortlessly.
. . . [read more]
My yoga practice began in the Ashtanga system of Pattabhi Jois, with its prescribed sequence of poses, focus on the breath, and steady gaze. The postural sequences are incredibly demanding, and as I began to practice the primary series nearly every day, I found I could focus more on my breath, with an inward gaze. What I experienced was this: as I struggled, sweated, breathed, tried, floundered, and felt a multitude of different sensations and emotions, I realized there was some part of me that was quiet and watching the struggle. There was a still point inside watching all of the whirling thoughts, feelings and sensations unfold . . . [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.
New Book Release by Barnet Bain: You may know Barnet Bain as a film producer (What Dreams May Come, Celestine Prophecy), but in The Book of Doing and Being he shares leading edge principles from 30 years as a creative professional. Peter Guber, owner Golden State Warriors and co-owner Los Angeles Dodgers said, “Bain authentically demonstrates that “being” with the right attitude puts your aptitude on steroids, so that you’ll be active in “doing” for your success.” A must-read: click here. #createnow
New Book Release by Joyce Anastasia: Extraordinary Leadership During Extraordinary Times unveils 7 Vital Keys that ignite transformation from the inside out and are essential for new forms of leadership to emerge as we face the incredible challenges and opportunities in our world today. Joyce Anastasia taps into our collective dream of a more beautiful and thriving planet by inspiring a call for leaders everywhere — from corporate executives and heads of state to ordinary individuals — to make healthier choices in their use of Power, Truth, Integrity, Wholeness and Dynamic Balance. To order your copy, click here.
Recovery 2.0 #MoveBeyond Online Group Coaching Program — Tommy Rosen is a yoga teacher and addiction recovery expert who has spent the past two decades immersed in yoga, recovery and wellness. Tommy has created the #MoveBeyond Online Group Coaching Program, which will run for 8 weeks from July 9 — September 3. The Shift Network is proud to recommend the Recovery 2.0 #MoveBeyond Coaching Program and believe it to be of benefit to those seeking to thrive in recovery. Tommy will be hosting a no-cost content filled webinar hour and answering your most frequently asked questions. Go here to learn about Tommy's coaching program and to sign up for his webinar: click here. Snatam Kaur and Friends – West Coast Tour – August 2015 — Our friends at BrightStar Events are producing Snatam Kaur’s West Coast tour. Concert, chantfest, musical group meditation, a yoga class in melody... how best to describe a live performance by Snatam Kaur and her band? It’s all of these things and more. Crystalline and radiant, Snatam’s voice is redolent of the simple yet powerful truth of the heart. Vancouver, BC, Seattle, Portland, Santa Cruz, Santa Barbara, Encinitas and Los Angeles. To learn more, click here.
(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 – September 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.
• 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
• Mark Matousek 9-month intensive
• Subtle Activism Summit
• 11 Days of Global Unity
• Hakomi Global Summit
• Devaa Haley Mitchell 7-week course
• Thomas Huebl 7-week course
• David Nicol 7-week course
• Alison Armstrong 8-week course
• Miranda Macpherson 8-week course
• Enneagram 5-month intensive
• Lisa Schrader 9-month intensive
Divine Shakti Foundation (DSF) — The Yoga Day Summit is inviting people to give back to India by supporting the Divine Shakti Foundation, a non-profit organization based in Rishikesh, India. DSF’s goal is to holistically provide for the wellbeing of women, their children, and orphaned and abandoned children. DSF is also engaged in activities for the preservation of Mother Earth, especially protecting the Holy Ganga River and providing a safe and natural environment for India’s revered cows. Further, DSF supports and promotes cooperation and association among the people who are interested in these divine goals. To learn more, click here.
UPLIFT inspires and empowers more and more people to be embraced by the magic of Love, transforming the Earth into a healthy, enlightened planet. The Shift Network is delighted to be co-presenting the Yoga Day Summit with UPLIFT. To learn more about UPLIFT, click here.
Idan Meyer is a seeker who found answers to life's biggest questions and experienced true self love for the first time through the chanting of mantra when he was 16. Since this revelation many years ago, he has been leading kirtan music gatherings and sharing his gifts with people all over the world. His music is profound, deep and yet simultaneously uplifting and beautifully prayerful, drawing on influences from Indian, Jewish and Indigenous traditions, and realizing that each one shares the same message, "Love is one and God is hiding in the heartbeat." To learn more about Idan and to hear his music, click here.