This past week in D.C. a trans woman and her friend were stabbed in the middle of the afternoon. One of the women, Tyli'a "NaNa Boo" Mack, died from the attack; the other woman lived. A full report of all the current information can be found through the Washington Blade.
What the fuck, right?
In trying to wrangle with this crime, I turned to paths of yoga, yet again.
Patanjali was one of the great yogic sages, and in his famed Yoga Sutra, he writes, "When [the yogin] is grounded in [the virtue of] nonharming, enmity ceases in his presence" (translation by Georg Feuerstein), or "By abiding in nonviolence, one's presence creates an atmosphere in which hostility ceases" (translation by Mukunda Stiles).
"Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me."
When struck with this news, I was deeply saddened, which was shortly followed by rage. Rage led to the desire to do something about it - put prayers in motion that would bring "justice" down on the heads of those who perpetrated this attack, yet I realized that this anger serves no purpose; the divisive "fuck those shitheads" attitude only feeds the deep and longstanding energetic despair around issues of perceived differences between peoples. Wasn't it this grain of separation that grew into a choking vine of hatred, wrapping its way around the heart of the person(s) who committed this crime?
I do believe we are all one, that the undercurrent of the Multiverse unites us all and therefore makes separation maya (illusion). Run through a different lens, look at the Web of Life, the Cosmic Web of Grandmother Spider: if all things are made up of the energetic action of this Cosmic Web, then there is no separation between me and you, me and the victim of the murder, me and the murderer. Of course, we make choices, and those choices lead to the manifestations we currently embody, but past all that shit (both "good" and "bad"), the baseline remains the same.
And that sameness is Divine.
When we speak to one another we are speaking to God/dess. When we touch one another we touch God/dess. When we do acts of service for one another, we do acts of service for God/dess.
In my better moments, I'm able to recognize that and see people's divinity radiating from their hearts, and I know that I worship at the feet of God/dess whenever I interact with another being.
May those who killed Tyli'a "NaNa Boo" Mack and those who contribute to cycles of violence at all levels come to this realization and have the courage to shift into new ways of being.
And, of course, that goes for me, too.
(Photos from top to bottom: 1. An image of Patanjali, usually pictured with a snake behind him because he's believed to be an avatar of Ananta or Sesha the thousand-headed ruler of the seprent people that guards the treasures of the earth; the god Vishnu also reclines on the giant serpent, who acts as a kind of couch for the deity. 2. A beautiful spider shot. 3. Tibetan Monks from Drepung Gomang Monastery in Karnataka, India, visit a museum in Tallahassee, Fla., and create a sand mandala for world peace.)