I am writing to inform the people of Santa Barbara to be aware of a failure of ethics within their “conscious community.” On Valentine’s Day at Yoga Soup, a wonderful event was hosted to raise money for Haiti. The organizers prepared a wonderful evening of incredible musicians, dancers, and free body work from some of the best local masseuses and Reiki masters. Entrance to this event was $25, all of which would be donated to Haiti. It was a small price to pay for such an event, and yet it seems that many of our community felt uninspired to open their wallets. I suppose you can blame it on the easy manner in which people could just walk in, but that is weak excuse. Those who received free massages, drank champagne, and enjoyed the entertainment all claim to be practitioners of a spiritual path to higher consciousness.

So, at the end of the night, when the organizer sadly announced that of the 50-plus people who were in attendance only 18 of us had actually paid, I was appalled. I had spent most of the evening conversing with a 16-year-old who was totally enamored with the people in that room. All I can think now is, what kind of example was set for him? It is shameful how so many can walk around talking about being “community minded” and yet fail so completely at even the simplest practical application of it.

I would like to thank Yoga Soup for hosting the event, as well as all the musicians, dancers, body workers, tarot readers, poets, and others who donated their time and talents. May your generosity bear unexpected fruits. — Phedre Parks


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