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Ever since Gabriela Bozic initiated the first Jivamukti Tribe Gathering in Munich, Germany in 2009 it has been a thrilling occasion for the honoring of our common roots and the creation of a global satsang. From Munich, the Tribe celebration traveled to London, and then New York City, where it has been a great success thanks to all of you. This year we welcome all Jivamukti Yoga teachers and students worldwide to return to New York City for the annual Global Tribe Gathering.

I have been doing a lot of research on the theme of Tribe to prepare, and feel that my own awareness of genetic history and relationship to our global family has grown dramatically. Indeed, modern geneticists and anthropologists believe that we all owe our existence to a small tribe of people that made their way out of Africa about 90,000 years ago. From that small tribe - all human beings today enjoy the gift of life and the heritage of our tribal roots. In a way we all trace our ancestry to Africa!   That news makes me happy and ready to celebrate the universal nature of life.

Tracing my own roots back to nation states like Scotland, Ireland, England and Germany empowered me to envision my Celtic, Pict, and Viking forebears whose tribes predated those nation states. I have no memory of those early connections, only dusty family albums, stories, myths, and my genes. What really has surprised me and led to a remarkable experience of the ‘oneness of being’ is the understanding that the DNA of the ancestors of my ancestors actually arose in Africa and struggled over thousands of miles, through the ice age, across vast oceans and deserts to arrive in New York City, at the Jivamukti Yoga School. What are the odds? How wild is that? As Sharon would say, “There are atoms of air in your lungs which were once in the lungs of everyone who has ever lived—we are breathing each other!”

Yoga is the disappearance of superficial identification with skin color, clan, nation, or even tribe and the growing acceptance of belonging and being universal consciousness. But yoga also means getting deeper into life with a sense of freedom and adventure. When we tap into that universal identity we can arrive back in the circle dance of tribe with liberation, humility, and most importantly, happiness. We can bring with us the teachings that can liberate others and lead to absolute freedom - jivanmuktih.

Yogis like to bring it all together and that is what our intention is each year at the Jivamukti Yoga Tribe Gathering. All tribes are welcome as we host the gathering of tribal energies from around the world. Community is our focus as we reduce self-consciousness and self-centeredness and increase our desire to connect to others and actively work to reduce the suffering of all beings. We are a vegan tribe of many tribes, gathering our forces to march forward creating a world of joyful, loving kindness and compassionate activism.

See you in New York—let’s dance, sing, meditate, and celebrate together!

David Life