We Were Made For These Times

My friends, do not lose heart. We were made for these times. I have heard from so many recently who are deeply and properly bewildered. They are concerned about the state of affairs in our world now. Ours is a time of almost daily astonishment and often righteous rage over the latest degradations of what matters most to civilized, visionary people.

You are right in your assessments. The lustre and hubris some have aspired to while endorsing acts so heinous against children, elders, everyday people, the poor, the unguarded, the helpless, is breathtaking. Yet, I urge you, ask you, gentle you, to please not spend your spirit dry by bewailing these difficult times. Especially do not lose hope. Most particularly because, the fact is that we were made for these times. Yes. For years, we have been learning, practicing, been in training for and just waiting to meet on this exact plain of engagement.

I grew up on the Great Lakes and recognize a seaworthy vessel when I see one. Regarding awakened souls, there have never been more able vessels in the waters than there are right now across the world. And they are fully provisioned and able to signal one another as never before in the history of humankind.


Look out over the prow; there are millions of boats of righteous souls on the waters with you. Even though your veneers may shiver from every wave in this stormy roil, I assure you that the long timbers composing your prow and rudder come from a greater forest. That long-grained lumber is known to withstand storms, to hold together, to hold its own, and to advance, regardless.

In any dark time, there is a tendency to veer toward fainting over how much is wrong or unmended in the world. Do not focus on that. There is a tendency, too, to fall into being weakened by dwelling on what is outside your reach, by what cannot yet be. Do not focus there. That is spending the wind without raising the sails.

We are needed, that is all we can know. And though we meet resistance, we more so will meet great souls who will hail us, love us and guide us, and we will know them when they appear. Didn’t you say you were a believer? Didn’t you say you pledged to listen to a voice greater? Didn’t you ask for grace? Don’t you remember that to be in grace means to submit to the voice greater?

Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world all at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach. Any small, calm thing that one soul can do to help another soul, to assist some portion of this poor suffering world, will help immensely. It is not given to us to know which acts or by whom, will cause the critical mass to tip toward an enduring good.


What is needed for dramatic change is an accumulation of acts, adding, adding to, adding more, continuing. We know that it does not take everyone on Earth to bring justice and peace, but only a small, determined group who will not give up during the first, second, or hundredth gale.

One of the most calming and powerful actions you can do to intervene in a stormy world is to stand up and show your soul. Soul on deck shines like gold in dark times. The light of the soul throws sparks, can send up flares, builds signal fires, causes proper matters to catch fire. To display the lantern of soul in shadowy times like these – to be fierce and to show mercy toward others; both are acts of immense bravery and greatest necessity.

Struggling souls catch light from other souls who are fully lit and willing to show it. If you would help to calm the tumult, this is one of the strongest things you can do.

There will always be times when you feel discouraged. I too have felt despair many times in my life, but I do not keep a chair for it. I will not entertain it. It is not allowed to eat from my plate.

The reason is this: In my uttermost bones I know something, as do you. It is that there can be no despair when you remember why you came to Earth, who you serve, and who sent you here. The good words we say and the good deeds we do are not ours. They are the words and deeds of the One who brought us here. In that spirit, I hope you will write this on your wall: When a great ship is in harbor and moored, it is safe, there can be no doubt. But that is not what great ships are built for.


By Clarissa Pinkola Estes

American poet, post-trauma specialist and Jungian psychoanalyst, author of Women Who Run With the Wolves.

Jivamukti Yoga September 2015 Focus of the Month

Samskara-saksat-karanat-purva-jati-jnanam. By bringing unconscious drives into conscious light one knows the existence of previous lives.
Yoga Sutras III:18
Upon dissolution of the body, the Self principle does not perish. The body is a manifestation of Self principle. The knowledge one has acquired and the character one has gained will accompany one into future lives. Higher future life depends on higher karmas of past and present. Birth and death merely mean union of individual self with a new organism and separation from the old organism. –Shri Brahmananda Sarasvati

The transmigration of the soul, or even the existence of the soul, is not universally believed. It is said that in India, indolence is the result of a belief in reincarnation and in cultures where there is no common belief in reincarnation; a kind of desperation is the result. The tendency of the soul is to become locked in an Möbius strip-like cycle of birth and rebirth – life after life of the same deluded suffering. This cycle is called Sams̅ara. The soul can free itself from delusion and rebirth by becoming aware of karmas (the actions we take,) desires and attachments, and their resulting effect on the liberation of the soul from Sams̅ara. The soul then only reincarnates as a choice to renounce liberation and return to a body in order to free others from suffering. The soul that lives to liberate others is called Jivanmukta. It’s a tricky situation. A story is told of a sage who had achieved realization, who at the moment of death saw a deer run past his hermitage. “Oh, how beautiful, how wondrous,” thought the sage, as he was filled with admiration of the deer and it’s integration with the natural world. That attachment caused the sage to be reborn as a deer! All kinds of unfulfilled desires and attachments to pleasurable experiences pull the soul back to experience those things once more. “If only…” is a life sentence.

At the moment of the death of the body it is essential to remember your true identity. Whatever fills the mind at the time of transition propels the soul into its next life. The most direct way to shift identity away from the dying body and toward God is to chant the name of God. It is a good idea to chant all the time because we never know when the moment of death may come! When Mahatma Gandhi was murdered, the final words on his lips were “Ram,” his true identity. When many people experience that final surprising moment of life their response is “Oh, sh*t.”

When the soul reappears in a new body most memories from past lives are erased or hidden. This is unfortunate, but even if we remembered past mistakes, it doesn’t guarantee that we wouldn’t repeat them. The accumulated karmas (actions) and the samskaras (impressions, talents or tendencies) transmigrate with the soul and affect the new life. Through Self-reflection we watch life through the eyes of the soul and bring a new level of consciousness into our karmas. We can become aware of the pitfalls and benefits of our tendencies through yoga practices that reveal those tendencies to us.

The law of the conservation of energy states that energy is never lost, it just changes form. The energy that was your life cannot be lost, but transforms into another form of energy. The transformation continues and life becomes life becomes life.

Your everlasting soul has appeared and reappeared in different lives, bodies, and times. The Atman is the name for the soul in Sanskrit. It is the subtle or etheric body that resides within the physical body. It has moved through thousands of bodies, places, and times – even on other planets than Earth, and in other bodies than human. It is your True identity and it is immortal.

If you are still undecided think about this:
If you believe in reincarnation and you are wrong – it won’t matter, because you died.
If you believe in reincarnation and you are right – you could direct future lives.
If you do not believe in reincarnation and you are right – it won’t matter, because you died.
If you do not believe in reincarnation and you are wrong – you can continue to suffer for countless lifetimes.

The choice is not really to believe in reincarnation or not. The choice is to continue to suffer for countless lifetimes or to begin directing future lives by how we act now. These good actions have an immediate affect on the world that we all share this lifetime.

September 2015 — David Life


the word anima is the root for the word animal, and it means “soul, that which animates.”

Thus, by definition, all animals have souls, whether human or non-human. Every living being has a soul. …

It is the same no matter what kind of person you are: you may be a human, a cat, a dog, a cow, a bird or a fish person, but regardless, all living beings have souls; if they didn’t they would be dead.  –

Sharon Gannon in the November 2014 Jivamukti Yoga Focus of the Month

* Special * jivamukti yoga class and experience

Special candlelight class : With that sweet moon language...

As the moon reflects the sun, we all reflect each other, the whole world is a mirror. As mirrors that can be set up in such a way that they reflect each other providing a visual experience of endlessness, the seemingly infinite possibilities of life can be seen as such in the metaphor of the mirrors. Ultimately no matter how you look at it all the reflections come back eventually to the perceiver—as the seer sees, so the seen is seen – Sharon Gannon

October 4th, get ready yogis (and register at yogawithjj@gmail.com  … spots are limited ) …



PS1: To stay updated on our events please follow our (baby) blog or email us:  yogawithjj@gmail.com

PS2:  Last but not least …. On behalf of Joanna & myself, a heart-felt thank you for your presence at the Geneva Yoga and Music festival