How My Practice Helps Me Serve

How My Practice Helps Me Serve
May 26, 2014

Find out how Omega teachers use yoga and meditation to make their service more sustainable.

 

  • "My practice holds me accountable—not just to others, but to myself. At Off the Mat and Into the World, I train activists and ask them to investigate their shadow side. If I’m not doing the same thing myself, I can't ask others to do it. Because of my yoga practice, I know if I'm starting to burn out, because I hear the cues when they are subtle. I do my best to take a break or ask for help."—Hala Khouri

  • "I meditate every morning for about 40 minutes. As studies show, mindfulness meditation increases awareness and the ability to be more present in daily life. These skills are especially important for me as a member of Congress, because I deal with a multitude of topics and issues every day. It also decreases stress and helps me create better balance in my life."—Tim Ryan

  • "I practice every day in ways that are both formal and informal—whether I’m doing a morning intention ritual, Ashtanga Yoga, or an “on-the-spot” meditation. My main service is as a teacher to people who are suffering. My aim is to help them cultivate self-compassion, experience their own strength, and build connections with others. My practice helps me do all these things myself. And it helps me connect to compassionate goals for my work in the world."—Kelly McGonigal

  • Photo by Jennie Rehbinder

    "I often serve through kirtan, whether I’m writing a song about cleaning up the Ganga and other rivers or donating proceeds from recorded music to organizations that are working for peace or people in need. My daily Kundalini Yoga, meditation, and chanting practice is my anchor. It rejuvenates me and shows me how to be my own source of inspiration and light."—Snatam Kaur Khalsa

  • "I have been practicing Zen meditation for nearly 50 years and working in the end-of-life care field since 1970. I often say that meditation is about developing wisdom and compassion. What practice makes possible is that these deeper, interrelated qualities can be nourished, so our service to others can be steady, grounded, kind, and balanced."—Joan Halifax Roshi

  • "I do a morning meditation practice that connects me to the God (or the light) inside of me. It helps me get centered, and it puts all the service that we offer to underserved communities in Baltimore through the Holistic Life Foundation into perspective, because it reminds me that the same light shines in everybody and everything."—Ali Smith

  • "My practice, which includes hatha yoga, kriya practices, and meditation, makes me feel like I have a force shield. It doesn’t allow negative things into my space. It gives me the resilience and the patience to handle the stress that can come from working with people in underserved communities, so I don’t miss the opportunity to help them out."—Atman Smith

  • "My yoga, vipassana, compassion, and Breathing Deeply practices allow me to continue my activism and live a full life at 74. These practices change our thinking and action and support the growing awareness that social action without contemplation can be draining and short-lived. Practice also leads to more self-aware and emotionally intelligent leadership behaviors, relationships, and teamwork."—Mirabai Bush

  • "I’ve been meditating since 1971 and I do pranayama and asana almost every day. My practice inspires me to not only work on my own evolution, but also the evolution of the entire species. That’s why I do a lot of work around sustainability issues, animal rights, and helping veterans navigate the transition from deployment to civilian life."—Beryl Bender Birch

© Omega Institute for Holistic Studies

 

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