Santa Cruz Good Times

Friday
Jul 03rd
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Into the Eye of the Storm

AE_HarveySacred Activism as a path of transformation
What breaks your heart?” Andrew Harvey believes that when we each answer this question we’ll be inspired to engage in compassionate and radical action to transform humanity. The India-born poet and translator is also director of The Institute for Sacred Activism and author of many books including “The Hope: A Guide to Sacred Activism” and “The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying” with Patrick Gaffney and Sogyal Rinpoche. His newest book, with Karuna Erickson, is “Heart Yoga: The Sacred Marriage of Yoga and Mysticism.”

Harvey will be in Santa Cruz to share his vision of Sacred Activism as the birthing force of a new humanity on Feb. 24 and 25 at Inner Light Ministries. GT spoke with Andrew about possibilities for positive change.

GOOD TIMES: I’d like to hear your vision for transforming the United States, a country

permanently at war where economic and retributive violence is the status quo.

ANDREW HARVEY: Also, we’ve just been sold to the corporations by the Supreme Court, which has given corporations carte blanche to invest in American politics. We are in the best democracy that money can buy! It’s amazing to me that the American people aren’t on the streets because this is actually the prelude, potentially, to the rule of fascism.

I’m very alarmed, too, at the spiritual response to this. We’ve had a spirituality that’s sanctified greed and consumerism and has been not at all concerned with political and social transformation at the very moment that they are needed most.

How can we change structures of domination and control?

The corporations are certainly not going to go through a quick change of heart. People have to face that there is very little hope in the political system. The responsibility for major change now lies in us. The one hope for the world is in a global mass movement of love in action. I’m devoting everything I’m doing to mobilizing people into what I call networks of grace.

ae_thehopecoverExplain more about these activist networks.

Networks of grace are cells of between six to 12 people who are gathered around heartbreak or a cause. There will be networks dealing with environmental protest and transformation and the creation of different forms of energy. There will be networks working on poverty, famine and the transformation of our relationship to animals.

What I suggest to people who really wish to discover what their mission is in this chaos is that they get up at three o’clock in the morning, ground themselves in the divine in whatever way is natural to them and ask themselves, “What breaks my heart?” Rumi said that when you uncover your heartbreak you uncover a compassion that will never run dry.

In “The Hope” you write, “I am not a dogmatic pacifist ... In certain extreme situations, which I pray do not arise but could, I would be prepared to take up arms and use force.”

Everybody should, as far as possible, pursue the path of nonviolence. I also believe that given the situation as it is—the omnipotence of the corporations, the strength of the military-industrial complex—we might, and I say might, be brought to a situation so extreme that even those who have committed ourselves to nonviolence would consider a disciplined, focused and economic use of force. When I interviewed His Holiness The Dalai Lama he said something which permanently changed my mind, “If it comes to the necessity of using force, only those people can be trusted to use force … who have been profoundly, over a long time and with a deep spiritual intensity, trained in nonviolence.” Obviously the use of violence must be the absolutely last resort.

You recommend uniting spiritual practice and social change into sacred activism. Many of us are interested in balancing what you call, “the sacred marriage between serenity and urgency.” How best to train ourselves as sacred activists?

I suggest that people combine four kinds of practice: cool practices like vippassana meditation, breathing, calm mantra repetition, and visualizations; heart practices which enable you to keep your heart open and compassionate even when the world is burning; prayer practice and lastly sacred body practice. My book “Heart Yoga” brings together yoga in its most ancient, mystical form with practices from all of the mystical traditions.

What the world is going through is an equivalent of a dark night of the soul; it’s a dark night of a species. We are heading into the eye of a perfect storm of crises that threaten the extinction of the human race and the desecration of a great deal of nature. We have ignored all the warnings and indulged in a vast coca-coma. I also believe that this is not the end for the human race. This is a wake up call for the human race to get real about putting love, compassion and wisdom into urgent, focused, radical action. If millions of us take up this challenge then what this great death that is materializing all over the plant will turn out to be will be the birthing canal for a new humanity.


What Breaks Your Heart Open? will be a discussion with Andrew Harvey on Friday, Feb. 25, at 7 p.m. at Inner Light Ministries, 5630 Soquel Drive with Rev. Deborah Johnson and spoken word artist, Lex. Tickets are $15 at Gateways Books and innerlightministries.com. Join Harvey with Eric Schneider on Thursday, Feb. 24 at 7 p.m. for Rumi’s Embrace—Hope for Humanity. A limited number of tickets are available for $40. Call 426-5755 to leave a reservation message. Check out andrewharvey.net for more information. John Malkin is a local writer, musician and host of The Great Leap Forward, Wednesdays at 7 p.m. on Free Radio Santa Cruz, 101.1FM and freakradio.org.
Comments (1)Add Comment
...
written by Rebecca Kemble, March 19, 2011
Interesting that this was published on the first day of the occupation of the Wisconsin State Capitol and massive demonstrations that are still going on today.

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

The Boards Are Back in Town

More than a century after a famed trio of Hawaiian princes first surfed in Santa Cruz, their redwood olo surfboards are returning to the Museum of Art & History

 

We Hold These Truths to Be Self-Evident

Saturday, July 4, is the 239th birthday of the United States, commemorating the signing of the Declaration of Independence (the U.S. astrology chart has Aquarius moon—freedom for its people, by its people). Cancer, a liberating and initiating sign, is the “gate” where Spirit enters matter. Cancer receives and distributes Ray 3 (Divine Intelligence) and Ray 7 (new rules, new rhythms, new free nation under God). Cancer represents an intelligent freethinking humanity that can and must create right economics for the world. This means a policy of sharing, an opportunity for the U.S. when Venus (money, resources, possessions, etc.) retrogrades July and August in Leo (the heart of the matter). The United States has a unique spiritual task for the world: to lead humanity within and toward the light, accomplished by its people who must first awaken to this task, learn discrimination and be directed by the soul to assume the Herculean task of spiritual world leadership. Let us review the first words of our Constitution: “We the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this constitution for the United States of America.” Let us form that union together. The following is a review of the spiritual tasks for each sign. Read all the signs. They all apply to everyone.  

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of July 3

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Lunch is Packed

Picnic basket lunches from Your Place, plus smoked chili peppers, and new owners at Camellia Tea House

 

What would you like the Supreme Court to rule on next?

Raising the minimum wage so that those that are in poverty now can have a higher standard of life. Greanna Smith, Soquel, Nanny

 

Bruzzone Family Vineyards

Bruzzone Family Vineyards is a small operation run by Berna and John Bruzzone. Starting out a few years ago making only Chardonnay, they eventually planted Pinot Noir on their extensive property and now make this varietal as well.

 

Ty’s Eatery

Pop-up hooks up with Santa Cruz Food Lounge for healthy comfort food