guest post by Hannah Faulkner
With the winter holidays approaching, do you ever take the time to notice the world with a unifying perspective?
Are you open to beliefs from people that practice different customs than you?
Are your traditions in line with your evolving values?
Read the full version of this article on Hannah’s blog, Half Moon Yoga and Art.
Tradition refers to beliefs, objects or customs performed or believed in the past, originating in it, transmitted through time by being taught by one generation to the next, and are performed or believed in the present.
A tradition may be deliberately created and circulated for personal, commercial, political, or national self-interest. Fear of other people, customs, and religions may be politically and culturally manipulated to bring more separation amongst the human race.
For example, only a century ago, “anthropologists at the Museum of Man and the Smithsonian Institution worked together to collect plaster life casts of different racial types. These casts were displayed in San Diego at the 1915 Panama-California Exposition as part of an exhibition about the “progress of man” that presented European Americans as racially superior (Museum of Man San Diego).”
However, in the current exhibit, Race: Are We So Different? artists like Kate Clark strive to connect the dots between the museum’s archive of face molds to the reality of living and breathing people today. She created a series of face molds from museum visitors to break down the stereotypes from these older social constructs. Today, so many different races have blended and moved around that the results are remarkably more united.
This exhibit explains in clear, helpful language the origins of race and racism, and helps us understand how to deal with them in productive, enlightening ways. Most of what we think about race is based on myth, folklore, or assumptions unsupported by genetics or biology. No one is free of misunderstandings about race, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
According to a DNA study posted at the Museum of Man, we are much more alike than we think. In fact, your DNA is 99.9% similar to the person next to you as well as all people in this world now.
In his enlightening Television Series, “The Story of God,” Morgan Freeman announces “Our beliefs don’t have to divide us, they can unite us. We all share the wonder and gratitude that we are here at all.”
Thousands of years ago, Pantajali created a guide towards the path of enlightenment and peace. He suggested the practice of yoga. The asanas (postures) and pranayama (breathing techniques) are preparation for Samadhi, which means “to bring together, to merge.” Samadhi refers to union. When we experience these moments of awakening, we realize what it is to be an identity without differences.
There is no longer any individuality of our experiences: gender, personal history, family and cultural values, education, etc. The “I” and “mine” of our illusory perceptions of reality is replaced by awareness of the oneness of the Universe blended with connectedness, forgiveness, joy and love.
Yoga reminds us that we are more than the external body, that our souls are the light that matters the most. Feel encouraged to treat your body like the divine temple that it is, the mind-body-spirit connection. The ultimate goal of yoga is to awaken the spiritual consciousness, the divine energy that connects us all.
Join us for Yoga at the Museum of Man – Yoga in the Rotunda every 2nd and 4th Saturday from 8:30am -9:30am. This class is $10.
Click here to save your space and arrive at least 10 minutes early to sign in.
(Please note that the Jingle Bell Run is scheduled for this Saturday in Balboa Park and several roads around the Park will be closed. The run route can be found here and we recommend giving yourself extra time to find parking.)
This Saturday December 9th, I will be teaching a class related to the unity of light throughout the winter holiday season as it relates to the Museum’s message, “Are we so different?”
This holiday season, will you choose to see the unity among the world’s traditions, customs, and religions?
Do you know what the world’s major winter holidays have in common?
From a magical Yuletide log, to the bright star leading the way to a savior, a crescent moon as a symbol for dedicated prayers, festivals of lights with rejoicing in gratitude and family, to wreaths and halos that illuminate the way to compassion, all of these celebrations include LIGHT, which translates to joy, devotion, and love!
When we live on light, we are constantly illuminating the path for ourselves and others. The word enlightenment means to provide insight or knowledge, to awaken or become free from ignorance. In other words, if you have knowledge, let others dip their candles in it.
Through a unified approach of physical postures and lifestyle, we can awaken the loving energy of light and unity that is resting within each of us.
See yourself as the creator of your own life, the sustainer of your reality. Breathe in the light of oneness and divine energy and see yourself connecting with life itself. As a daily reminder, we can repeat this affirmation, “I feel lightness and openness to the bigger picture. I move towards light and enlightenment.”
Hannah Faulkner draws inspiration from her surroundings and seeks to find relationships between the ordinary and extraordinary daily life through her writing. With 4 years of experience as a flight attendant, and many more travels preceding, Hannah’s curiosity and adventurous spirit have soaked in elements from worldwide cultures while growing in her spirituality. As a yoga and visual arts teacher, she combines her passions to create beauty in a variety of ways through her inspiring stories, bridging connections with deeper yoga philosophy and wellness concepts at HalfMoonYogaandArt.com.