Yoga & Social Justice Challenge Day 2: Satya

Wy'east (Mt. Hood) from my neighborhood in Hood River.

Day 2 of the Yoga and Social Justice Challenge focuses on Satya, or the truth. Susanna suggested we try a walking meditation about truth since, when one achieves total enlightenment, it’s not like it’s going to be only when on a yoga mat or seated on a meditation cushion.

Dog Walking & Truth

I have a border collie, Stella, who enjoys whatever number of walks the humans can sustain during the day. I decided to try to inject some enlightenment into our walks, which can be really trying with a hyper border collie on the end of a leash.

We also are blessed to live in a really beautiful location. Our neighborhood is located on the unceded* lands of the Hood River or Dog River Wascoes, near the Dog River (now known as Hood River) and Wy’East (Mt. Hood). We can also see the Klickitat mountain (Mt. Adams) from our neighborhood.

Today was the first crisp, clear day in a while where we could see both mountains on our walk. As Stella and I walked, I focused on the mountains and chanted to both of them. Wy’east is larger than life on our walk. Walking on the sidewalk in our suburban density neighborhood, you don’t suspect there’s a majestic mountain visible around the corner, then POP! Big Mountain! Klickitat is actually a taller mountain, but is further away, so it appears smaller than Wy’East from our neighborhood.

It’s hard to get photos even with my “super zoom” iPhone, so I also included stock photos of the mountains in my video.

Satya Walking Meditation

SATYA Speak your Truth Yoga Justice Walking Meditation
I am a truth seeker, I am a truth teller
I touch the truth, the truth touches me
I know the truth, the truth knows me
I am the truth, the truth is me

Land Acknowledgement:

In telling the truth, I do not know for certain if the land that my current neighborhood is on was unceded or ceded. There is some confusion historically about how the treaty with the United States Government, under Joel Palmer, superintendent for the Oregon Territory in 1855, and the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs was developed (1). There are reports, from Palmer and others, that the chief of the Dog River Wascoes refused to sign the treaty and that the band refused to move (2). From that, I am assuming the specific land we are on in Hood River / Dog River was not ceded, even though the treaty may indicate otherwise. Today (April 14, 2023), I also initiated a recurring donation to the Warm Springs Community Action Committee (WSCAT) in acknowledgement of the land theft of my predecessors and as a small amount of reparation or rent. I’ve been struggling to find a meaningful context in which to make a land acknowledgement, and have been intending to start a recurring donation, and it all fell together during, and right after, this walking meditation on truth today. 🙏

References & Further Reading:

PS: Stella says “hello” and “wouldn’t you like to take me for a walking meditation too?” 🙂

Stella Thedog, of the Dog River Thedogs