Letters to the Editor
THE GAY MARRIAGE issue is on its way through the courts, perhaps all the way to the Supreme Court. It's a contentious issue, and one that seems to rest primarily on semantics. This is not surprising, as humans live in a semantic world. The Old Testament, one of the foundational documents of western culture, starts out with God naming things. What we call something usually determines how we think about it.
With that in mind, and knowing there are two conflicting opinions on gay marriage, I can't help thinking about the basic elements of a sentence, that unit of human thought. A sentence is divided into a subject and a predicate: what it is and what it does. The more I thought about it, the more I suspect that there are subject people and predicate people. Take this sentence: Marriage is a formal union between two people who love each other. Subject people stop at the word marriage and apply their definition before reading on. Predicate people don't pay much attention to the subject, but look at the rest of the sentence and say, "People loving each other; union; sounds OK to me."
As a predicate person, I care mostly about the process. You can scratch "marriage" and rename it, "purple unicorn breath," and it would be the same to me. Not so for others, so the debate rages on.
I RECENTLY heard news about a yoga teacher accused of sexual assault in the Santa Cruz area. To say that this type of behavior is utterly unacceptable would be a gross understatement and barely scratches the surface of how estranged these actions are to the tenets of yoga. It's important to note that any teachers who partake in such actions are influenced from selfish desires and not by any philosophy of yoga. Even the most dramatically distorted interpretation of yoga philosophy wouldn't begin to hint at condoning such acts.
During this time it's important that we as yoga teachers uphold the core philosophy of yoga as related to us by Patanjali in the Five Yamas of: Non Violence, Truthfulness, Non Stealing, Control of Sexual Energy, Non-Clinging; and the Five Niyamas: Purity, Contentment, Self Discipline, Self Study and Dedication to a Higher Power.
We, the yoga community, stand together with love, respect, openness and honesty to heal the wounds inflicted by some of our misguided colleagues.
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