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Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses

A Christmas message from Michael Schaeffer

The Amazon Prime packages are piling up on the door step and the iPads are flying off the shelves. This is undoubtedly the season of giving. This is absolutely not a guilt trip about American consumerism because I truly believe when we give gifts whether it be a hand made card, a stack of cash, or an iPad it is given out of love (whether you admit it to yourself or not).

This is a reminder of the root of the season. Any way you spin it from religious, to spiritual, to social, this time of year is always about gathering and reflecting. In yoga communities this is a crucial time because it’s so easy to get wrapped up (pun intended) in bullshit.

From my perspective there is no yoga practice without action. So I’m asking you to take action, to do some real advanced yoga. Along with the gifts you give and the donations you make, you must do more, in fact I insist upon it. This does not require you to open your checkbook, put it away. You must give freely of self. I have 3 vital tasks I’m putting to you this week.

1. Seek and find those who tirelessly work on your behalf. Who conspired to give you a better life. Thank them. The words must exit your mouth. Acknowledge them. See them.

2. Seek and find those who are poor and put your excess in their hands. Think you don’t have extra? You’re wrong. Give out a smile or your time. Hold a door, buy a cup of coffee. Give away your hold on seeing others as “less than”. Acknowledge someone.

3. Seek and find in your heart a moment to pause in reverence and acknowledge the huddled masses around the world who are hungry, who are cold. Those who are oppressed and exploited. Those who yearn and burn for a small taste of our freedoms. Pause and consider all of those who couldn’t imagine the ability to read let alone read this on an iPhone.

We walk into this week the way the practice demands, doing what others are unwilling to do, giving more. Freely of self.

Walk the talk with me,


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