React or Listen? My Time in Israel and Palestine

Yoga and meditation helps ground and unite us when the world around us seems to be falling apart. Here I am with my friend Hadeel in Ramallah, Palestine on the first day of Eid.

Yoga and meditation helps ground and unite us when the world around us seems to be falling apart.
Here I am with my friend Hadeel in Ramallah, Palestine on the first day of Eid.

 

Yoga reminds us we are humans.

Whether in asana or meditation, we are reminded of life’s impermanence.  We are confronted with emotions and questions we otherwise push aside.

In general, travel also teaches you these lessons. In travel, like yoga, one must push aside selfishness, doubt, and judgements and replace them with openness and patience.

Maybe I have not been doing Asanas every day since arriving in Israel and Palestine, but I have been practicing yoga.

BKS Iyengar reminds us that “The light that yoga sheds on life is something special. It is transformative. It does not just change the way we see things; it transforms the person who sees. It brings knowledge and elevates it to wisdom.”

I arrived in Tel Aviv the day before the military operations in Gaza started. Being here is much, much different from what you see on TV. This operation has exceeded 30 days and has cost almost 2,000 lives, 400 of which were children.

I realized within my first few days in Israel I had a choice: to react or to listen. As vipasana and yoga teach, I realized I learn a lot more if I listen.

So I spent three weeks in Israel and three in Palestine, meeting people and learning their stories. Like we do on the mat, I listen not to draw conclusions or judgements but to take them away. I listen not to learn about them, but to learn about myself, and who we are as humans.

Peeling off layers can be a difficult process.  But if we can find patience for ourselves and our own faults then we are better able to face our neighbor, our world.

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One thought on “React or Listen? My Time in Israel and Palestine

  1. You could certainly see your skills in the work you write.
    The arena hopes for even more passionate writers such as you who aren’t afraid to say how they believe.
    All the time go after your heart.

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