Raising the Vibration of the World, one Karma Yogi at a time:
Yoguestyle attended the 1080 Karma Yoga Project Celebration on Thursday October 23 at Raw Canvas in Yaletown and chatted with project founder Shivani (Kelly) Mercer of Pura Luna Art about her inspirations and hopes for this endeavour.
“We’re here to raise the vibration of our planet, through beauty, art and service.”
The journey began when Mercer decided to travel to India to volunteer at the Sivananda Math Ashram this December with a group of nineteen fellow yogis and students from Vancouver.
The ashram, located in the small town of Rikhia in Bihar, India’s most populous and poverty-stricken province, has a strong record of serving rural communities in various parts of India, offering everything from medical aid to farming implements and clothing and books for children.
Mercer hoped “to create a community project for the kula, something to connect the group with a purpose before they got to the ashram. ”
The group chose approximately sixty photographs each, that describe the beauty of the planet, resulting in a total of 1080 photos.
“108 is the sacred number in vedic philosophy, but we though a canvas of 108 photos wouldn’t be v. big so we added a zero,” she smiles.
Adding positive and inspiring captions below the photos was the next step. Getting each image sponsored for $20 by friends, family and anyone else, came after. Lastly, Mercer created a large 5 by 4 foot canvas consisting of all 1080 photographs and their placement into a multi-hued map of India.
She had planned to auction if off last night, but announced, happily, that Telus had offered to purchase the canvas and donate it to the BC Children’s Hospital.
“It was an offer I couldn’t refuse,” she smiled and noted that the group had raised $18,000 with their efforts. All the monies would go towards child welfare programs in rural India.
“We’re part of the human race, she continued, “I believe in global citizenship, rather than us versus them divisions. We have to let go of the dividing lines and live in a world where all problems are ours and all celebrations are ours.”Vancouver Mayor Sam Sullivan rolled in, “I’m here to celebrate the positive impact of this vision,” he announced. “Plus,” he smiled, looking at his elegant wife Lynn Zanatta, “my sweetheart Lynn is yoga crazy.”
Sullivan has been a welcome supporter of Vancouver’s love-affair with yoga, even proclaiming an official Yoga Day in the City since the past three years to coincide with the Vancouver’s annual Yogathon + Blissfest for Camp Moomba.