Listening to the news this morning, I found myself feeling both saddened and angry at some minister I don't even know. He intends to burn the Quran, despite General Petreus' concern that such action will put U.S. troops in danger, despite Secretary Clinton's admonitions, despite the fact that one of the foundations of our country is religious freedom. Where to start? Of course, the only place to start is my primary area of influence, myself.

So, I'm pulling out the stops. I'm using all of the (considerable) tools at my disposal. I'm beginning with metta practice and zpoint (check out my free stuff for free recordings of these tools). I'm working to clear myself of the disgust and anger I feel towards those who think it's a good thing to plan an "International Burn a Quran Day." I'm working to envision us as ONE tribe. For I believe that the disrespect and intolerance lurking in my heart is also a seed of violence.

As an army brat, whose father was a career soldier, my brand of patriotism runs deep in my bones. I believe in what our country stands for and the tenets that form the foundation of what makes us work. I believe in the courage of the U.S. Armed Forces and am grateful for their service and the sacrifices they and their families make. I believe in respect and tolerance. And, yes, I believe in free speech. My family is among the families who sacrificed time together, safety and stability to continue the weave of those golden threads that make up the vision of union upon which our country rests.

Burning something that another holds precious and sacred seems the heart of intolerance, arrogance, ignorance and disrespect. Instead, I aim for yoga, union. And, this aim points me back to my personal work - the work of respecting someone who's actions I find reprehensible, the work of burning off the seeds of violence and intolerance in me. The importance of this work is being played out in every corner of the world. For when you or I withhold respect and water the seeds of violence and intolerance, we are trapped in the illusion of separation - us and them.

Tell me, how are you coming back to Union? How are you burning the seeds of violence in your life? We are ONE tribe, y'all!

Author's Bio: 

For more than 25 years, I have been helping people cultivate rich relationships with themselves, others and Life. A long-time yoga practitioner and meditator, I see relationship as one of Life’s perfect practice spaces for experiencing yoga. My understanding of the sanskrit term yoga is that it means union with the Divine in yourself, others and Life. It is my intention to generously share tools and practices that support your personal and spiritual growth, using relationship as the practice ground. In this way, you learn to take your relationship with yourself, with others and with Life to the next level, exploring and practicing the yoga of relationship.