We celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday today.
Even as I work today, thoughts of his fight float through my head. Even as I work, I am aware of the sacredness of this day.
As a yogi, what comes to mind is peaceful warrior. I know that some or even, many teachers call it by other names; reverse warrior, backwards warrior, tilted warrior or some other name all together.
Me, I love peaceful warrior. I love the pose. I love the idea of it. I love the name of it.
I love that it reminds me, each and every time that I move into it, of Martin Luther King Jr. And Gandhi.
It reminds me that not every battle is won with aggression. Not every battle is won with force, physical force. Not every battle is won with weapons pointed and aimed to kill. Battles that are intent on making other human beings as others are rarely, in the end, won.
Peaceful warrior is not simple. Not easy. It is challenging. It is heart opening. Peaceful warrior asks that you look inside and still open towards light.
It is yielding. Not surrendering. Not accepting or acquiescing.
Maybe we should call it listening warrior.
Maybe that was one of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s many strengths. That he listened to his so called enemies. And that he knew that he was stronger than the hate, fear, and underneath it all, ignorance that he faced over and again.
And that he always would be.
And so are we.
Peaceful warrior is a warrior none the less.
As you all are.
Laying down the conventional weapons of war. Tearing down the walls.
Looking at each other, face to face and eye to eye.
We are the same.
We are love. We are peace, shanti, peace.
A favorite statement of MLK’s that I hold to when my warrior rises up:
"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." - Martin Luther King, Jr.
Thank you Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., for all the light that you brought into this world. For all the love that you used as a shield to the hate that you encountered.
For continuing to inspire and hold us.
And for ever reminding us that we do not make changes alone. That peaceful warriors are stronger together.
A reminder. You are not alone. We are here.