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February 4, 2012

A Personal Reaction to Rumors, Accusations & Community.

We need to remember what we value when faced with rumors and slander that have no place in our community.

Here’s Waylon’s response to the yoga controversy.

I was shocked to my core today. From the inside out.

One of the many reasons I was so intrigued by the Yogic community was because of the authentic, compassionate and loving ways the

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members treat one another. Before I made the decision that Yoga—and by that I mean all of Yoga, not just the asanas but the beliefs, principles and values as well—was for me, my life was not filled with the beautiful friendships and mindful living that has become a part of my daily life and path, since. That is not to say that I didn’t experience some genuine relationships, but for most of my life I was surrounded by people who smiled in your face and talked shit behind your back.

I did it too.

The relief I felt when I was no longer a part of and no longer subjected myself to those types of things was paramount. In the time since I have been a part of and witnessed some amazing things. When we Yogis get together and put our minds to it, we can change the world. We are changing the world. So today, when I was subjected to something you would see happen in the tabloids—a lewd exposure of the most personal of things with the intention to destroy someone’s career, livelihood, their family, their complete person—not only was I deeply saddened but I felt horribly betrayed.

For those of you who do not know what I am talking about, an anonymous website has been constructed to expose a yoga teacher, and those closest to this person who will no doubt be collateral damage. The material was vulgar, yet has snaked its way, shamefully, through our community. The specifics of which are not yet important because, for now, they are rumor-based.

The issue at hand now, here for me was the way it is being dealt with: through gossip.

A Statement From Waylon:

“Having a serious discussion about healthy community can be hard, and important, and is a part of our mission. The anonymous site in question does not do so in the form of a dialogue, and we will not link to it. If you want more info about it, go to Yogadork.”

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Our community is bound by the Yamas and Niyamas. They are our moral commandments, the model by which we live each day. I am so proud to be one of those people.  Ahimsa and Satya have been broken by this anonymous person and I refuse to abandon my beliefs  by reproducing what I believe to be slanderous statements about somebody else. We are not supposed to cause harm, that is not what we stand for and there are no exceptions to this standard. If that is to hard to understand then maybe a simpler way to say it would be that I choose to mind my own business.

Still, it is important to be honest and transparent—and when and if we have firsthand, non-anonymous information, we’ll seek to honor this painful issue with a constructive dialogue. Middle Way. ~ Waylon Lewis, ed.

Let me ask you this: what do you think the intentions were behind this publication? It appears to have been executed specifically to cause irreversible harm. Is it our duty as human beings to not pre-judge until we have the facts…but we have a responsibility to remain true to our genuine nature and uphold the commitments we have made by choosing to live our lives in a mindful way. Talking trash and spreading rumors is not conducive.

How quickly the contributions and sacrifices that have been of benefit to our community can be easily forgotten in the mists of gossip and accusation.

It is my heartfelt desire that, as a community, we treat this situation respectfully and mindfully. Let’s keep in constant awareness of the damage we can do by conversing in an unhealthy manner. Let’s keep our intentions behind our actions pure and authentic. This is how we live our lives daily, and this unfortunate occurrence is a time when we need to be most vigilant, awake, kind and honest.

Peace,

JC

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