Chanting “Om shanti shanti shanti” is an invocation of peace, where the sanskrit word “shanti” simply means “peace”. It’s a beautiful meaning and also a beautiful sound.

The practice of Yoga (with a capital ‘Y’) helps us to cultivate peace. Peace within ourselves. Peace with others. And peace with the external world. It is difficult to relate to peace after the horrifying tragedy in Paris on Friday, but also after too many other tragedies around the world, past and present. Situations where profound sadness, anger, fear and all sorts of emotions overshadow our vision of reality. The practice of Yoga reminds us to stay grounded. Not grounded in various beliefs and other bias. But well-grounded in our humanity and in our strength. The solidarity that has arisen from the recent events, in Paris, around the world and online, is a beautiful display of humanity and strength.

Paris attacks 13 Novembre 2015

I was very moved by the initiative of a pianist who decided to protest against violence and terrorism in his own way. He brought his piano in front of the Bataclan and played “Imagine” by John Lennon. Here is the video… what a beautiful and timeless hymn to peace.

Imagine there’s no heaven,
It’s easy if you try,

No hell below us,
Above us only sky,
Imagine all the people
Living for today…

Imagine there’s no countries,
It isn’t hard to do,
Nothing to kill or die for,
No religion too,
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace…

Imagine no possessions,
I wonder if you can,
No need for greed or hunger,
A brotherhood of man,
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world…

You may say I’m a dreamer,
But Im not the only one,
I hope some day you’ll join us,
And the world will live as one.

On a personal note, thank you deeply for all your messages of sympathy. My family and friends were spared by this barbarity but I am very saddened by these acts of violence.

My deepest thoughts go out to the victims and injured and their families.

In peace, love & light.