Just before the anniversary of 9/11 my sister sent me an article written by a friend of hers that introduced me to the term satyagraha. Made up of two Sanskrit words: satya – truth, and graha – seizing, holding, or insistence, this term refers to what Mahatma Gandhi called “the force which is born of love”, as well as to the passive resistance Indian movement that Gandhi renamed Satyagraha and that influenced Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King Jr.’s civil rights movements.

This year, for this Thanksgiving month Newsletter, I am grasping, “graha-ing”, this term to invite us to all consider what it is we hold to in truth, what force in us is born of love, what “soul force” can we strengthen. Yes, Thanksgiving is the season of gratitude and giving thanks, and I will attest to that list of graces in my life in a heartbeat. I have written 10+ newsletters about it, taught whole yoga classes themed on it, and felt literally steeped in it when my yoga teacher visited 8 Limbs earlier this month. Truly, if we have computers and can read this newsletter, it’s a given, we are fortunate, so what’s next? What do we plant into that rich garden of gratitude?
In traditional Yoga Nidra, yogic sleep, to plant a seed of intention deep in the subconscious, one cultivates a feeling of gratitude and follows this directly with internally stating a Sankalpa, or Intention, a positive action that one will take. Might we this month plant in our traditional season of thanksgiving and gratitude a commitment to satyagraha, to truth force, and fill the human desire to grasp with satya.

Perhaps you are out I am as responsible as the next busy, employed, and basic-needs-met person of not stepping out in protest, or writing my Congressperson or marching on the Capitol. But I do what I can. I speak out, I share information, and I create a space for organizations to connect with people who believe in them. Thus this Thanksgiving Day, at all four 8 Limbs, you can practice satyagraha with the four yoginis and satyagrahis (one who practices satyagraha) who have volunteered to teach the benefit classes for local non-profits (see below).

And then take it to another level, in your own way. Our world is changing at a breakneck pace, in both amazing and scary ways. We all have the moment-to-moment opportunity to break from the habitual and move into a new awareness of truth, one we may have never even dreamed of.

Posted by: Anne Phyfe Palmer

Neighborhood Studios