This Month We Serve -
Happy New Year Lotus Family!
This January at Laughing Lotus we celebrate the Bhagavad Gita, the great Hindu text that may also be read as a guide to living. The Gita emphasizes the yogic values of bhakti (devotion) and karma (selfless action), encouraging us to give ourselves to the Divine and to live our dharma (our calling or duty) here in this earthly realm, without attachment to outcomes.
In honoring the power of devotion to renew and redeem and of action to effect positive social change, this month's Love Saves the Day Benefits the Glide Foundation/Glide Memorial United Methodist Church in San Francisco's Tenderloin District. During the turbulent 1960s and early '70s, Glide, led by a young minister named Cecil Williams, became a focal point for political activism and counter-cultural revolutions of the era. Aided by poet-dancer Janice Mirikitani, who was later appointed Glide Program Coordinator, the church offered assistance to groups such as the Black Panthers, the American Indian Movement, and the Hookers Convention. They provided (and continue to provide) meals to hungry San Franciscans as well as a social and spiritual space for anti-war activism. When the crack cocaine epidemic as well as HIV/AIDS began to impact the people of the Tenderloin during the 1980s, Glide created a recovery program for addicts as well as the Glide-Goodlet HIV/AIDS Program for prevention, education and counseling. More recently, Glide has opened a health clinic as well as the Glide Family, Youth, and Childcare Center.
The work Glide began in the 1960s continues today, as they meet the needs of San Francisco's poor and disenfranchised, combating social injustice with both love and pragmatism. As Glide Church itself says, "Glide is a place where old, destructive ways of being are thrown out and new ones created. Where names are named and love is celebrated and a simple call goes out to all races, classes, genders, ages, and sexual orientations: It's recovery time. It's time to love unconditionally."
As we begin a new year and reflect upon our own lives let us also find ways to engage and to serve others selflessly with love and devotion. As yogis, we remember that detachment in the yogic sense means equanimity, not removing ourselves from action; we may look to 2020 to fulfill the callings of our practice by lending our selves and services to Glide or other organizations that change the lives of both others and ourselves. To learn more about Glide, its programs, and how you too can lend your unconditional devotion and selfless action to their causes, please click on www.glide.org.
remember, Love Saves the Day!