There is a new tree in Alexandria at the Del Ray Farmers Market at the corner of Mt. Vernon and East Oxford Avenues, near the Yoga in Daily Life Center. A hole, large enough to fit the root ball with a little expansion room provided for, was prepared. Nutrients beneficial to the growth of the tree were added and the tree was put into its place. This tree will grow, will take in what it needs and give off oxygen. It will take time to reach its full potential but someday the tree will provide a resting place for birds and shade for those who seek shelter under its branches.
A tireless advocate for world peace, Yoga in Daily Life founder Paramhans Swami Maheshwarananda (known as Swamiji), planted the Peace Tree with the participation of Alexandria City Mayor William D. Euille and Congressman James Moran. The tree will remain as a reminder of Swamijis visit to the Yoga in Daily Life U.S.A. National Center on his 2008 Spiritual Awakening for World Peace Tour.
Swamiji has been meeting with heads of state for more than 30 years, and has spoken at the United Nations Millennium World Peace Conference of Religious and Spiritual Leaders with the goal of raising awareness and fostering dialogue between individuals, nations, cultures, and religions on the topics of peace, education, sustainability, ethics, health, youth and climate change.
He has initiated annual Peace Summits and founded a World Peace Council. What creates the atmosphere, Swamiji says, is peace within ourselves, our choices, our actions. The principle of loving every living thing as much as we love ourselves, while following the principle of Ahimsa, leads to non-violence.
His message is simple and powerful inner peace for world peace. His teachings have been compiled into an accessible practice which teaches how to achieve good health, inner peace and harmony by using yoga, meditation, and spiritual development. The Yoga in Daily Life system, which also advocates respect for life of all living beings, tolerance of all religions, cultures and nationalities, and the protection of human rights and the environment, is structured over a graded system of learning that evolves over eight progressive levels.
Swamiji is concerned about the state of the world today. Unfortunately, the world is getting more and more complicated with technology and the internet, Swamiji said. Family life is losing and when you have no joint family, one loses everything. He believes that a healthy social life means to have a good family life, finding time to spend with each other, reading, singing and sharing a meal.
Spirituality is the answer back to the harmony of family life, Swamiji said. He believes that there are many young people who are not as much towards business. Swamiji sees more young people coming to yoga to listen to words that motivate them towards tolerance, respect and understanding.
Swamiji continued,Yoga can be practiced by anyone and it is for everyone who would like to be healthy and happy. He added that, every fifth person is practicing yoga in the United States. He said that Yoga in Daily Life is good for the mental, social, health and the spiritual. It is the inner peace that brings the outer peace from the heart.
The secret to the Yoga in Daily Life system is that it can be incorporated easily into ones daily routine, like brushing teeth or bathing. As busy as people are today, this accessible yoga system is being practiced by millions of people in thousands of locations around the world.
One of the premises upon which Swamiji created Yoga in Daily Life is the example of Mahatma Gandhi, who suggested that we be the change we want to see. Swamiji inspires humankind to consider the following:
- Be aware that I am human
- What makes me human?
- What are human qualities?
- How do I awaken my human qualities?
- What is the mission of life?
Swamiji will wind up the North American portion of his world tour with a trip to New York City and the United Nations and participate in events during International Peace Week.
Humans who know what it means to be human, cultivate and awake those qualities that give them their life mission and this will give them good health, harmony and contentment, Swamiji said.
In addition to yoga and meditation classes in Alexandria, the Yoga in Daily Life Center supports local community organizations, including the Red Cross and the Arlandria Health Center, through various fundraisers. They have also contributed to a number of scholarship funds, including St. Marys Catholic School, Head Start and the Charles Barrett Elementary School.