The Pissed Off Yogini

Recent visitors to my blog might be wondering why I changed the blog name from The 300 Pound Yogini to Darshan.

(I’m not sure I want to box myself in as a weight loss blog—though I intend to revisit this topic as health and healing are a large part of my current focus. Thankfully, I am starting to see significant changes in my health since shedding 30 pounds. But that’s another blog post).

I almost changed the name to The Pissed Off Yogini.  It’s Darshan for now because the word soothes me. It immediately evokes memories of standing in the Darshan line to get a blessing from my garlanded Guru.

Since I can’t seem to settle on a name, maybe I will change it each time I post to reflect what I am thinking and writing about. For now I am going to name this post, The Pissed Off Yogini and then wait and see if it wants to turn into a blog title.

Lately no amount of groceries, meditation, mantras, walks or Asanas seem to be able to quell the storm inside me. Lately has turned into the last year—maybe longer—maybe it’s been since Trump announced he was going to run for president. And if I’m being honest—maybe it’s been longer than that. I tend to run a little hot.

I have no words for the horror that our country experienced this past week.

At 6:59 on Thursday–the day after the massacre in Florida, I was jolted out of bed by a text from my dear friend in Florida. Her school is on lockdown. She is hiding with sixteen students. She tells me she loves me and to please offer prayers to our guru.

Thank the Goddess it was a false alarm.

At 8:02 my daughter calls. She is headed to a training on how to handle situations such as these.

Three years ago my daughter she was locked in a closet with pre-school children. I learned of her situation thru texts and drove immediately to her day-care. Police surrounded the building. Thankfully, it was handled quickly and no one was harmed.

At 4:09 my daughter sends another text. “The elementary was on lockdown today due to a violent parent threatening teachers and children. It was the high school last week. The high school student was locked, loaded and ready to go when the police stopped him before he got on school property. They received a tip off, acted and they saved lives. But they didn’t save one life. The boy attempting the shooting was responding to his best friend committing suicide the weekend before due to bullying.” She also shared the following, “Children who are deeply abused feel powerless. The developing brain of the adolescent can not fully understand that high school is passing and they will not be living in that time forever. And more importantly this is a highly charged time in the development, view and understanding of the growing adult self. Bullying is ruining our society. If you have a culture of rape, oppression and violence it effects our schools. Our schools are not a separate entity. They are just one more mirror.”

Of course the school-shooting evoked panic and blind rage. So did the communications with my daughter and friend. These are natural responses and they prompted my questions.

Are there different faces to anger and rage? Are all forms of rage toxic? Is it a poison or does it serve a purpose?

I reached out to a yoga friend. Here is a link to her blog and a post she shared about Trump.

She offered the following quote.

“Being “nice” is not a Buddhist practice.  Being kind is.  It doesn’t always mean telling people what they are comfortable hearing.  For example, acknowledging the structural depth of white privilege and supremacy in America and elsewhere is not comfortable.  But if our society has a future, overcoming white supremacy is a practice we need to lean into immediately.” – Ethan Nichtern

She also stated, “You can absolutely be engaged with something and still remain unattached.  I like that word better than “detached. Think about it, I feel there is a difference.”

I am thinking about it and for some reason it does feel more expansive. It encourages me to not get attached to outcomes—but to do the work in-front of me.

But the most important thing she provided was the following link and quote.

https://bzbi.org/holy-anger/

“Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel in his seminal work The Prophets, he writes: [A]nger is something that comes dangerously close to evil, yet it is wrong to identify it with evil… Like fire, it may be a blessing as well as a fatal thing — reprehensible when associated with malice, morally necessary as resistance to malice… Anger may touch off deadly explosives, while the complete absence of anger stultifies moral sensibility.[16]”

I found the following paragraph on the site:

“I’ve decided it’s time for anger — but for holy anger, the kind that won’t let you sleep at night until you find a way to make change in the world. Because holy anger took children out of sweatshops and into schools. Holy anger did away with slavery and Jim Crow. Holy anger inspired Zionists to take a two-thousand-year-old dream of Jewish independence and turn it into a very real State of Israel. Holy anger freed Soviet Jewry and ended South African apartheid. Holy anger gave women the vote and fueled the Freedom Rides and drove marchers across the bridge in Selma, and holy anger will carry us across the next bridge, and the next, and the next. It’s time for anger because we live in a world in which rape and sexual slavery have become weapons of war. We live in a country that suffers 33,000 deaths and 84,000 injuries a year from gun violence, and our leaders persist in doing nothing to solve the problem.

Today, I’m sitting in the fiery flames praying that I’m not consumed. And if I am, may it be a transformation that leads me to be of service.

Darshan

“Darshan is a Hindu concept that means “to see and be seen by the deity.” It is a transmission of Shakti.” Laura Amazzone

Darshan is derived from the Sanskrit, darsana, meaning “sight,” “vision” or “appearance.” In Hinduism, darshan is the act of beholding a deity, divine person, sacred object or natural spectacle, especially in a physical image form.

The poet, Gary Snyder, has given a naturalistic meaning to darshan:

“It’s a gift; it’s like there’s a moment in which the thing is ready to let you see it. In India, this is called darshan . Darshan means getting a view, and if the clouds blow away, as they did once for me, and you get a view of the Himalayas from the foothills, an Indian person would say, ‘Ah, the Himalayas are giving you their darshan’; they’re letting you have their view. This comfortable, really deep way of getting a sense of something takes time. It doesn’t show itself to you right away. It isn’t even necessary to know the names of things the way a botanist would. It’s more important to be aware of the ‘suchness’ of the thing; it’s a reality. It’s also a source of a certain kind of inspiration for creativity. I see it in the work of Georgia O’Keefe.