Scripture ~ They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore. Isaiah 2:4b
Spiritual Focus ~ “Love and justice are not two. without inner change, there can be no outer change; without collective change, no change matters.” The Rev. angel Kyodo williams.
Breath Prayer ~ Inhale, love, Exhale, justice
Devotion ~ There are many situations and moods that we bring to our Yogadevotion practice. Sometimes we yearn for peace and a place to rest. Sometimes we need to escape our thoughts and experience God’s quiet and healing presence. Other times we have energy to burn and need the physical practice to settle and come home to our body and breath. Regardless of what brings us to our practice, there is an expectation or hope that we will leave changed for the better.
In both theology and yoga philosophy we acknowledge that the path of peace and healing is a path of contemplation, self-study and action. These are tools of change that have re-formed every generation. Although sometimes things can be changed with an adjustment or a tweak, most of the time true change takes a radical revolution.
On October 31 (or the closest Sunday) some Christian denominations celebrate the Reformation. The Reformation, often attributed to Martin Luther but inclusive of many other reformers, was a radical revolution that challenged an empire religion. Martin Luther practiced contemplation, self-study and then, took action with a nail, a hammer and 95 reasons to reform. Luther was not the first to preach radical change. Jesus preached radical love, forgiveness, and non-judgement trying to reform the religion of his day. Another reformer, Mahatma Ghandi, practiced the radical concept of non-violence and taught, “If you want to change the world, start with you…” which eventually was abbreviated to “BE the change”. A modern-day prophet/activist, Shane Claiborne, has taken our scripture for today seriously and created a whole ministry of change. Claiborne travels across the country speaking and accepting AR 15 rifles and other assault weapons. As people are moved to relinquish their weapons, he melts them down and turns them into plough shares or gardening tools and returns them to the community.
Change is a fact of life and a necessary force for reformation, for transformation. Radical, inner change begins when we practice contemplation and self-study that leads to outer change and action, especially where we join together in community to effect collective and sustainable change; change that really matters!