feed the hungry, save the rainforest, buy books

If you look at the right sidebar you will see that I added four charity sites that make it extremely easy for you to donate on a daily basis, without spending a dime of your own money. How much easier could it be to think globally and act locally?

When you click the links, the charities work with their sponsors to buy books, donate cups of food, donate bowls of food for shelter animals, or donate money to preserve square footage of the rain forest.

In 2006 visitor clicks:

* funded over 29,000,000 bowls of food for shelter animals
* funded the preservation of 316,304,335 square feet of rainforest
* funded over 5,000,000 pounds of food for people
* funded over 300,000 books

Over 60% of the world’s illiterate are women. For over 800,000,000 people in the world, hunger is a daily reality. There are millions of unwanted animals in US shelters. Millions of acres of the rainforest, the lungs of Mother Earth, are endangered on a daily basis.

To all of you who regularly visit this blog, and even those of you who visit once and never come back, please take four seconds to click each link. Those of you who visit every day, please click each link every time you visit. And those of you with your own blogs, please go to the sites and get the code to add a widget. You’ll be accumulating positive merit for yourselves!

Think globally, act locally, we are One.

The Animal Rescue Site

The Hunger Site

The Literacy Site

The Rainforest Site

buying your way toward enlightenment

Isn’t this great? I can’t wait to get my new VISA card that has an AUM or Buddha’s face on it!

I don’t know about anyone else, but when I saw an ad for this I let out a groan. Using Buddha or the AUM symbol to market something that is the epitome of a capitalist society just rubs me the wrong way. Sort of like when I see the images of Hindu gods and goddesses on underwear or see a cocktail called the “Buddha Bomb” on a menu — a tad distasteful to me, but maybe I’m just overly sensitive to things like that.

While I commend VISA for the concept of the card holders’ points going toward socially conscious projects such as Youth Aids or Rainforest Action Netork, there is also something about using these images to promote accumulating more unnecessary junk in our lives that is disingenuous to me.

To me, yoga and the spiritual path are about downsizing. Ridding our lives of clutter, both physical and emotional, in order to strip us down to our bare essence, to our True Nature. I know for myself that the longer I walk along the yoga path, the less I “need”. I may want things — who wouldn’t want a pair of $90 yoga pants with handpainted chakra symbols flowing down the legs? — but more times than not I ask myself, yeah, but do I really need them?

I could charge my next yoga retreat with this credit card, but when it comes right down to it, I don’t need a credit card with an AUM symbol on it to remind me to think globally and act locally.

A few weeks ago I taught a yoga class as a benefit for a local domestic violence shelter. I had a donation box set out in the yoga studio where I teach for about two weeks before the fundraiser. I raised a lot money, but I found it amusing when a student wrote a check for $120 for a class pass, and then could not even put $1 into the donation box. That’s OK — maybe she was still paying off her credit card bill that included those chakra pants, with the matching $150 Swarovski crystal sacred energy Shakti necklace, and the $80 eco-yoga mat that she carried in the $200 real leather yoga mat bag. Later I saw the same student buying a $4 cup of coffee at the Starbucks down the street.

Hmmmm…I wonder if she used that AUM card to charge that latte?