Remember when your mother would say, ‘don’t talk with your mouth full’ reminding you of your manners? Or, what about, ‘chew your food. I was a hasty eater when I was a kid. Always anxious to get outside or go … Continue reading
On a daily basis, I become more acutely aware of thought as separate from self. In fact, a mentor recently suggested, as Rumi did, that I should treat my influx of thoughts as guests in a guest house.
We can’t “turn off” our minds, for in doing so, we are in struggle. But, if you look at your thoughts as transient guests that come and go, you see them as separate from the house, the self. Sometimes there are writing works or poems that so completely capture the human element that you take them with you wherever you go. No poet better describes the concept of guest house than Rumi. Continue reading
In the first two posts of this series, I talked about the yamas or “laws of life” and the niyamas or “rules for living,” so now we come to pranayama and meditation, both of which flow through and are essential for the previous two limbs. When I was going through teacher training and we learned about each yama and niyama, I started to feel anxious thinking about all of the work I had to do to change myself. I had this mental checklist running through my head. As I began to examine the deeper meanings behind the yamas, such as violence which can be as subtle as thinking a harsh thought towards someone who is making your life difficult at work, I really started to panic.
When you really dissect all of the subtle ways we can be “in violation” of these universal moralities and personal observances, it can quickly become a challenge to stay present and not judge yourself. So, I read more and listened more and started to see that simply ‘noticing’ when I’m in a situation in which I have an opportunity to practice non-violence or moderation, my actions naturally began to shift. Add pranayama and meditation to the mix, and these qualities of living a yogic life begin to arise unconsciously; they become part of your DNA.