Tag Archives: Social Justice

25 ways to be a revolutionary

23 Feb

in an everyday life:

84ed2-revolution-logo11. Believe in humanity, no matter what you hear, no matter what you read.
2. Believe that we will create a world that is equitable.
3. Believe that you are part of the solution, then, act on it.
4. Touch the earth, ask for her help, breath with her.
5. Open your arms & open your heart.
6. Believe in humanity’s capacity for change. Really, believe.

7. Boycott FOX, they have no ones interest in mind. NO ONE.
8.On second thought, just stop numbing your mind. TV, obsessive smartphone use, drugs, booze–it all gives someone else the upper hand.
9. Make presents for your friends, with love, even if they are silly.
10. Say thank you to someone who works in service, or a service person. Say thank you.
11. Where are you most happy? Spend some time there.

12. Take control of your body. Appreciate it, use it, if possible, heal it.
13. Use your voice. Sing, chant, dialogue.
14. Meditate, sit in silence, pray. Lend your energy to cosmic change.
15. Hug someone, kiss someone, cuddle, hold a hand. Share your space, intentionally.
16. Be there for the youth, for the elders, for your peers. Show up.
17. Prepare. And, always be prepared.
18. There’s a quote that says do what you do: if you can protest, protest; if you can write, write; parent your children; teach. Do what you do and do it to the best of who you are.
19. Pause before you speak.
21. ASK a lot of QUESTIONS.
22. Treat the earth like you love her.
23. Laugh.
24. Do some yoga.
25. See yourself in everyone.

Moving On

13 Jan

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I have started the year with a group of students from Columbia College Chicago. At the Headlands Center for the Arts, they are exploring the earth, their connection to it, the maps we create and the ones that are written in and on our bodies. As their yoga guide, I am encouraging them to uncover their deep valley and river bottoms, to unearth the parts of themselves that they are ready to get rid of and to put down the burdens that make their travel too heavy.

As my own new years unfolds, I am examining similar themes. I am finding that it is sometimes much easier to carry the burden with you, even if it’s heavy as hell, cumbersome or something that you’ve outgrown. It sometimes seems easier to continue to carry it all rather than figure out how to leave it and let go. I share the tears of my students as I am leaving behind the parts of me that I have identified with for so long. For me its those parts that give me weight with others-the titles and the organizations. The things that tell the outside world, I am worthy in it. My 20 years on my  students doesn’t make leaving the past behind any easier. In some ways, I think it may be harder…20 additional years of habit, 20 additional years of brain grooves reinforcing my survival as intimately linked to all the things that no longer serve me.

So then, what do I identify with in the mean time? What am I suggesting that my students pick up as they lay down the things that are not supporting their growth? I am suggesting space, trial and error, and creativity. As a society we are up against some major shifts in our social fabric, we are examining  race inequity, transphobia and misogyny in a different way, holding one another accountable and demanding action. What we need as a society has shifted so intensely that sometimes I have trouble seeing a day or two in front of me, let alone projecting one or two years into the future. The one thing I know today is the same thing that I have know since I was a child, yet the depth of it often eludes me; Love is the one thing worth identifying with, and that you can find love by following excitement in your spirit.

If you are buoyed by chanting in the streets, you are showing love. If you find solace in caring for your family, friends or students, you are showing love. If you sit at the feet of your deity and open your heart to the cosmos, you are showing love. You are demonstrating love each and every time you remember and act upon what is just. You are showing love with every heavy burden you put down and every smile that you gift to someone.  I have embarked on a list of 100 things to do in 2016. Those things are as mundane as getting my house painted and as exciting as solo-international camping. Each one of those things gives me space to grow, is done out of love, and excites my spirit.

What excites your spirit?

Casting a Wider Net, Examining Race in Technology and Design

22 May

Dia J. Penning // Casting a Wider Net // MX 2015 from Adaptive Path on Vimeo.

In case you missed my talk at Adaptive Path’s Management Experience conference.

We are calling everyone in to make a world that works for everyone. Through bringing people to table, through letting go of fear, through breath, and love.

No Enemy

19 Aug

photo (1)

As an antiracism facilitator, artist and yoga teacher, I see many facets of a human being.

I witness peoples reflexive interaction with one another as well as their deepest held personal insecurities and fears. So often there is an overlap in the two where fear exists, anger and hatred react.

We are given the gift many times every day, both on and off the mat, to face the attitudes that imprison us. We can face them in our own bodies and minds or we can reflect on them in the structures that make up our communities and countries. With every breath we have a choice — we can be the change we want to see.

What are you ignoring in your body, in your soul, in your community or your country?

What are you willing to see?

How can your breath allow you to face things head-on and become a light for those around you?

 

Video

You SO have it

5 Sep

As Sri Chodron says the challenges in our lives and our inner flame polish the gems that already exist inside of us. When looking for peace and generosity, we don’t have to look any further than the luminous potential in our own hearts. And, you can use your shining heart to make our world more equitable for all.

Please join us for a Yoga and Social Justice Workshop with Dia Penning at Leela Yoga in Alameda, September 28, 2013

1:30-5:00 pm
1708 Lincoln Ave, Alameda, CA, 94501
https://leelayogaalameda.com to register

Video

Heal the World, One Word at a Time

14 Jun

“and there we were, the same human beings. It was just that he was wearing that skin and I was wearing this skin. And it was no more or less than that.”
-Baba Ram Dass

Even in 2013 we have so much work to do. Children in schools bullied by teachers and other students for not falling into line or looking different. Odd conversations on planes that leave us all feeling as if the air has been let out of our tires. Explaining to our young children of color why they see so many people people that look like them going to jail on TV and not so many people that look like them as their doctors or teachers.

Cracking the Codes is an amazing film by World Trust and Shakti Butler that goes further than your typical diversity seminar and is held in so much love that it is truly accessible, even to those that believe that racism no longer exists in the world.

Through her and her teams skillful facilitation people are encouraged to examine places where they have been othered, bringing your experience directly into the body. And once you feel an experience from your own perspective, you can not pretend that it does not exist.

I love this film for the ways it made me open my own eyes, for the window it gave me on the shared experience of wanting to belong that we all have. And, how exclusion and systematic reinforcement of exclusion continue to harm the whole world and make use sicker and sicker.

We can use words to heal the world. With one sentence at a time we can start to break down paradigms that we accept as the norm.

We all have to start somewhere, on the mat, with a piece of art or in collaborative dialogue with another. How do you want to start the conversation?

Video

Yogis, Artists, Radicals: Demonstrate in Solidarity with Turkey

14 Jun

Saturday, June 15, 10 – 11am
Frank Ogawa Plaza, Oakland

Bring your mat and your heart for an hour of peaceful yoga practice in Oakland’s Frank Ogawa Plaza.

Meditate, lay in savasana, do multiple sun salutations, or extend your daily ritual.

We will dedicate one hour of communal self led practice to demonstrate solidarity with protesters in Turkey.

On May 27 people peacefully gathered in Istanbul to protest the development of Gezi Park, the last remaining green public space in their district. Within days, protests expanded out to a dozen other cities and have continued for more than two weeks. The protests have all been met with violent government opposition: more than 5,000 people have been injured by tear gas, water cannons and brute force. On June 5, protesters organized a massive yoga demonstration in Gezi Park in this ongoing effort to protect public space.

Come return the love, OAK > TURKEY.

Extra mats available. Signage encouraged.

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