©Liz Huntly 2015
Roland has been reading up on anarchism—Emma Goldmand’s Anarchism & Other Essays, Erich Mühsam’s The Liberation of Society from the State, Peter Kropotkin’s Mutual Aid stacked up by the bed—and while this newsletter was never intended to get political, it seems the only conversation at our kitchen table these days is: how do the systems and mechanisms of our current society detract from our ability to be happy, or sane, and how do we get out of the capitalism trap?
One big lie of capitalism: everything depends on staying ahead of the competition. You’ve gotta act quickly if you want to get a piece of the pie. Your success depends on the failure of others. Wealth is not measured in how much you have, but in having more than your neighbours.
Fall incites us to slow down, snuggle up in bed a little longer, let the rat race rage on without us.
Fall reminds us of the bounty of the earth. The farmer’s markets overflow with Buddha-bellied squash, massive green flags of chard, potatoes still clinging to thin coats of soil. It is a season of feasts and the pie is big enough for everyone.
We find abundance not just on our dinner plates, but everywhere in our lives. An abundance of friendships and places, of experiences and discoveries.
At our most recent Groove Yoga Festival on the magnificent Hvar Island in Croatia, we are joined by two volunteers who spend the weekend sleeping on the beach in an unused lifeguard shelter. By charm and sheer ingenuity they make it through the festival weekend without spending any money. What impresses us is not so much their resourcefulness, but the lack of entitlement with which they receive all that is offered up to them.
We are reminded that we need so little and have so much.
A second lie of capitalism: exponential growth is always possible. Act as if natural resources are unlimited. Take what you want of the earth and line your deep pockets with cash.
And so Nestle is allowed to buy the ground water from under our feet. And so Monsato is allowed to kill off the bees. So that a handful of elite can hoard strings of ones and zeros in virtual bank accounts. So that a precious few can crumble the futures of a great many. So that the economy can live on, for awhile.
We are learning to believe that less is more. We are learning that by stripping away material layers we allow our spirits to stretch wide.
We are learning to believe in trees, and the sweet bite of dropping temperatures and the whoop of wild geese. To believe that happiness lies in a small slice of nature and the promise of a warm bed.
We believe that abundance is lived not in the excesses of fancy vacations and five-star hotels, but in the in-between moments, the mundane routine of waking up in the half dark to catch the last faint smudge of the moon, in the sharp whistle of the teakettle, in the knowledge that we have been gifted a whole new day.
We are reminded that change begins at home, at the dinner table. We change the system by paying attention to what we eat—who coaxed it from the earth? Who delivered it from the farm into the nucleus of our tiny kitchen? How many times did the food exchange hands? How can we exchange more directly with the source? (The obvious answer: plant a garden.)
We change the system by giving deep thanks for the nourishment proffered by good food and good friends. We change the system by sharing our wealth with those around us, by trading and exchanging and breaking bread together.
We are reminded that most of what is valuable in our lives is free and unlimited: love, laughter, kisses, companionship, creativity, imagination, possibility.
Liz and Roland's rich teaching is rooted in their own intensive practices—profoundly spiritual, and at the same time playful. They skillfully guide students in discovering and understanding the physical body, creating a potential for mental and energetic transformation. Their teaching is infused with fierce love, joy, and laughter.