Balanced Activism – Making Change Effectively and From the Heart

My notes, thoughts, and paraphrased information from a talk at the San Francisco Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center tonight, entitled: Spiritual Activism: Awakening the Heart to Transform the World with Swami Ramananda

Yoga helps us access the part of ourselves which is connected to all of nature.

Act with that feeling of connectedness—brings peace and compassion to our actions.

If you protest with the feeling of separateness, the “other”, hatred, you will only be adding to the divide and the unrest. Not helping solve the problem.

It’s important to keep a regular practice of re-centering yourself, so that you can keep your peace, and respond peacefully.

When you interact with the world, it helps expose your weaknesses, so you know where to improve.


It’s important to bear witness and be present to what’s happening in our world. Not to pacify, or isolate ourselves.

It’s important to experience the emotions of loss, etc. without getting lost nor letting the behavior be governed by them.


Resist the urge to judge or blame anyone – the fault and good lie in all of us collectively.

Have compassion – know that those who are causing suffering are suffering themselves.

Bury insult & injury. Forgive.

Chant and pray. Prayer is an underestimated force in the age of science. Send your peaceful energy into the world daily.

The workplace is where Got put us to cultivate our spiritual values.

Do small things with great love (Mother Teresa).

When you listen to someone, they don’t need to fight anymore.

Lasting change does not come from wars or treaties, but from small groups of dedicated people all over the world who are committed daily.

1. Grow our roots with spiritual practice – so that we can be aware of ourselves, know when to extend and when to withdraw.

2. Practice spiritual principles (non-violence, compassion) in every day life (eating, sleeping, traffic, work, etc.)

3. Look for ways to be of service & take action.

Makes as many mistakes as you can as quickly as possible. We learn by doing.