Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Satsang speaks

I am so happy to be back and able to practice in a class. Traveling and practicing by yourself is great but I have missed the feeling of being in class surrounded by other students. The satsang in this city as a whole is as eclectic as it is powerful. Within two weeks I was able to be part of so many amazing events in the city. Two stand out and seem very different but had very similar affects on me. First was a film screening of a documentary on Horse Carriages in New York City. If you are not familiar they are the old school buggy made of heavy wood, a driver with a whip and however many passengers being dragged by a horse that has probably spent their life running in circles and being the money generator for their human counterparts. I never liked these Horse carriages but they have been in New York as long as I have been alive and sometimes it becomes hard to see things that have been in front of you for so long. I acknowledge the presence and my distaste for it but never spoke out as I did with other animal rights issues I thought were important. Its very easy to get wrapped up in some "larger" idea and forget that the larger idea can be sparked to life by what seem to be smaller challenges. I did not really see the horse carriages until I watched this documentary. I was invited by a friend Jannette Patterson to join her, John Phillips and many other spectacular beings. In fact we did a go around and introduced ourselves, the room was small and the number of people seemed few however they had all been doing such amazing things that the toom seemed huge. There was of course John who is the Director of the League of Humane Voters, Jannette who is the Regional Director for PETA, Michael a communications director for a city council woman, a prospective council woman an ex president of Humane Society based in Puerto Rico among others. Danny Moss the Director gave a great intro to the film and it began. ( http://www.blindersthemovie.com/ official website ) It was very insightful and penetrating bordering on graphic. I felt inspired by the film which is Danny's first, to become not only more active about this particular cruelty to horses but remembering to speak for those that have no voice and I was reminded of how easy that can be. We all have a group of people around us that we can reach out to and we must do it in different ways. Some of us may choose to see the film and tell others about. Some may see it and want to join some kind of peaceful action like picketing and others donate money to those who do it all. I was inspired to reinvest my energies into the world in another stream, that of words. The immense suffering of these animals is not just out dated but obscene and there is no one listening to them just as there is no one listening to animals around the world that scream to live a free and happy life. We can stay active by letting others know it is not alright. You can vote for politicians that defend the animals, you can write to those who speak up for animal rights as well as those that do not. Joining you local PETA friendly bunch handing out flyers about the treatment of the horses, or you can donate to organizations that make these things happen.

Please check out the documentary http://www.blindersthemovie.com/

The League of Human Voters has been involved with issues concerning the horses but also provide information on council members and their stances on various issues concerning animal welfare. Please check them out at http://www.humanenyc.org/

Of course PETA. has a section on it http://blog.peta.org/archives/carriage_horses/

Please read write listen speak we cannot do everything but we can at least say something.

Let me know how you feel about horse carriages and why they have not been taken out of NYC. Or if there are any leafletings please let us know.

The second event was a dance performance. My dear friend Ha-chi Yu who has not been dancing for a while was in a new performance and I arrived into the city during its last weekend. Perfect timing. I do not know much about dance and I have not seem many pieces but this was wondrous. She had a solo performance that was breathtaking. It was an adaptation of Odette from Swan Lake battling with herself. In this case a dancer and non dancer attempting to resolve their dilemma. The amount of awareness these dancers had and the choreography was very inspiring. I had been practicing since I returned to New York as usual but the dedication the tapas they had manifested in the performance kindled a desire to go deeper into being a student. Great art can enliven or desire to be more proficient in the things we love, whether it be our job our beloved our children it can stir us to do keep working. This piece had that effect and I am so grateful to have been one of the many in the crowd.

The group, Ballet Tech, was started by Eliot Feld as a tuition free ballet school for New York City Public School children.

You can check out her group at http://www.ballettech.org/


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