In last week’s blog, I talked about the healing experience at the Shantala Kirtan at the Phoenix Studio on Saturday, October 1st. Today, I continue writing about the transformative power of community by visiting the local extension of “Occupy Wall Street,” Occupy Blo-No, that speaks out against profit at the expense of ethics, security and privacy at the expense of joyful community gatherings (such as the Shantala Kirtan).


In class the other day—an engaging course on “Theories of Sustainable Cultures”—the growing “Occupy Wall Street” movement came up, particularly its recent, close-to-home manifestation of “Occupy Blo-No.” This movement has everything to do with sustainability and yoga as it challenges the rampant economic and sociopolitical greed in the U.S. Like yogis, the protestors advocate simplicity and generosity, connection and peace, honesty and community. Their commitment to these ways of life is visceral, contagious. Their sleeping bags, blankets, and tents heaped together; their piles of donated foods and supplies; are a living, breathing testament to the power of community. They sleep outside on the cold pavement, live day in and day out on public display. Two occupants are slowly waking up at 1 in the afternoon, having stayed awake until 6am talking with each other about all the issues they’re protesting against (see the photographs of signs). But as tired as they are, they are smiling, friendly, eager to talk with passers-by about the movement they’re a part of. Some even chat excitedly about staying at the camp through the winter months—toughing out the cold and becoming all-the-stronger for it.

**Much of today’s story is told through photographs (take by me, Emily Johnston, and with permission from the occupants), so please check them out!