Last night some of my friends were out for a birthday celebration at a bar in the city. I was not in attendance, though I wished I'd been there for my friend's birthday there is not much to offer me in bars these days. I guess I am past that stage of life and now the occasional glass of shiraz with dinner suits me just fine ;) This morning I was informed that while my friends left the bar, some other (drunken) party-goers were also leaving and they were 'looking for a fight'. My friends were in the wrong place at the wrong time and a fight ensued. I am sadden to say that one of my friends is now hospitalized with serious injuries (broken jaw, ribs, etc). This happened on brightly-lit street corner in my city of Toronto during a fairly active time in the evening (albeit with bar-goers). I was not there so I cannot comment on the course of these events; who hit whom when, and so on. After hearing of this news, it got me thinking about how much violence has been in the forefront of the media as of late and if this presence and perpetuation of violence in the media reverberates in culture and, thus, instigates further violence? It also made me question why the current state of society is so prone to violence? What is it that we are so angry about? I think it is fair to say that violence surrounds us all, daily. I think it is also fair to say that it is in every country, every city, everywhere on the planet. I am an optimist at my core and I am apt to believe in 'the good public', yet, the events of last night (in my personal life) and the last week (in the greater community- what with the brutal attacks in Arizona, the death of an innocent child and the death of a Toronto police officer) have left me feeling empty inside. Today, I will meditate on a world with less suffering and less pain. Today, I will try to open my heart, despite the defensive feeling that takes over when one hears of loss and pain to a friend. Most of all, I will practice Lotus Mudra for the people who beat my friend, as hard as this can be, in hopes that they may be rid of violence as well. In the yoga community we call this Ahima; a practice of non-violence in the purest sense.