April Love Saves the Day ~ Sea Shepherd
This April at Laughing Lotus we explore pranayama, the fourth limb of Patanjali's Astanga yoga: the practice of moving and controlling that life force that is the breath. Using the various techniques of pranayama, we can awaken the soul, relax the mind, or energize the spirit. It is attention to the breath that can turn asana to meditation, allowing us access to our own truths and the depths of our selves and souls. Sufi mystic Rumi writes, "You have been walking the ocean's edge, holding up your robes to keep them dry. You must dive naked under, and deeper under, a thousand times deeper and deeper under."
And so, as we take a deep breath and dive down into our inner oceans, this month Love Saves the Day will benefit the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (www.seashepherd.org) and the outer oceans, the mystical blue-green world from which all life emerged and which is increasingly threatened by environmental contamination and the senseless slaughter of marine animals. Sea Shepherd was established in 1977 by Paul Watson (a founding member of Greenpeace) in order to conserve and protect marine ecosystems and species. Sea Shepherd works to expose illegal and unethnical treatment of marine mammals, publicize the degradation of sea life, stop the hunting and killing of our defense ocean dwelling brothers and sisters, and even assist in international law enforcement of the UN World Charter for Nature (http://www.seashepherd.org/who-we-are/mandate.html) by patrolling the seas and stopping violations through fearless direct action.
Among the Sea Shepherd's current campaigns are:
- The Taiji Dolphin Campaign: Each year from autumn to early spring, tens of thousands of dolphins and whales are netted and hacked to death along the shores of Japanese coastal towns. Sea Shepherd has generated an intense worldwide publicity campaign to stop this slaughter; Sea Shepherd volunteers have even been arrested for jumping into Japanese waters to cut the nets holding dolphins awaiting the same fate. To send a letter to the Prime Minister of Japan or to sign a petition to protect the dolphins, please click here. To get informed, watch The Cove, the Oscar winning documentary about dolphin slaughter in Japan (http://www.thecovemovie.com/).
- The Seal Campaign: This year the Canadian government will allow "the largest mass slaughter of marine mammals in the world" in which 270,000 seals, the majority pups less than four weeks old, will be killed cruelly in order to create from their pelts unessential luxury goods like gloves. Sea Shepherd shut down the seal hunt before in the early 1980s and seeks to do it again. You can aid the seals by boycotting Canadian seafood and by clicking here.
- The Whale's Navy: Though the International Whaling Commission enacted a moratorium in 1986 on all commercial whaling, Iceland, Norway, and Japan have continued to slaughter whales. The Sea Shepherd works tirelessly to end this practice and has even used their own ships to hunt down, ram, and disable pirate whaling ships such as the notorious Sierra. To date, the Sea Shepherd has ended the careers of 9 illegal whaling vessels. To learn more, click here.
In the words of Thich Nhat Hanh, "Breathing in makes me calm. Breathing out makes me ease. With the in-breath, I smile. With the out breath, I release...". As we spend this month using the breath to dive within to ever greater depths, please take a moment to lend your support to the oceans around us, to Sea Shepherd, and remember, Love DOES Save the Day!
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