I have long wanted to host movie nights at Yoga Loft. Pop corn, soft drinks, bolsters, blocks and pillows—whatever it takes to get comfortable and take in a movie—not so much for its entertainment value, but to see what we could glean from from a spiritual perspective.
With the studio closed and most of us at home in some degree of self-imposed isolation, I thought this would be a great time to introduce the idea. For now we can watch the movie at home, and do the ‘movie yoga’ together. For those inspired, we can share ideas and have a dialogue in the comment section at the bottom of the post. Before going any further, I’d like to share my definition of the word “spiritual” as anything that brings us closer to lasting peace and happiness.
If we assume that the source of peace and happiness is associated with outer things and circumstances, then we’re doomed because nothing outside of us lasts and the results will be temporary.
It’s our highest yoga to find and experience the source of peace and happiness and until we do, it’s important to trust that it’s there, in the mind, waiting to be known for each of us.
First up, Titanic (the most recent version with Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio). I chose it because it represents a situation (similar to the one we’re in now with corona virus) where all is well and good until some outer thing comes along that disrupts our lives and impacts everyone. I also like the paradox between the havoc that a big iceberg, and a microscopic virus can bring. As the movie advances, the real inner character of each person develops in a way that shows their colors—
- guilt (architect of the ship),
- greed (Cal who will stop at nothing to have and essentially ‘own’ Rose),
- compassion (band members who played as chaos reigned around them),
- forgiveness (Rose having to let go of her familial role and trust love’s guidance)
- and of course truth (Jack’s passion to see all the same and put others before himself).
As we can see in the movie characters, we too find out more about ourselves when things get challenging. Does my peace only depend on outer circumstances meeting my needs? I know the movie is not pacifying, but remember, our yogic goal is to get to the source of the fear (no matter what form it takes), in the mind, where it can be observed, seen for its adverse impact on us, forgiven and resolved. This is our yoga! And that’s the gift in any tragedy, big or small.
The Titanic also takes us through the stages of trauma or grief (shock, denial, anger, bargaining, depression, testing, and finally acceptance). Our culture, our leaders, and most of us as individuals have been through these stages with the corona pandemic. It’s our yoga to work through these stages fully and without delay, not just with the current crisis, but with our lives in general. What stage might you be in? Don’t let your mind get stuck in any one of them. Life is the classroom that teaches how to choose the inner teacher of forgiveness, compassion and love over the devastating teacher of fear.
Remember to watch the movie for its spiritual value.
See if you can catch yourself getting emotionally involved and pulled into the drama of the movie. So too with the drama of life. The practice (regardless of the situation) is to catch ourselves getting pulled away from our peaceful center and choose instead to stay centered, peaceful, happy and re-sourced with love, not fear.
The movie ends with an elder Rose, after recounting the story to the “treasure seekers” (ego is always looking in the wrong places) she drops the coveted jewel into the ocean—a symbol of releasing the valueless (past) and joining with the Love that eternally unites us all as one.
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