Sutra 1:2: Yoga is the suspension of the fluctutations of the mind; Sutra 1:3: Then the seer abides in his own nature; Sutra 1:4: At other times, it appears to take on the form of the modifications of the mind
- I can’t do anything right
- I have nothing to offer
- I am not good enough
- I can do what he/she can do, better
- It’s already being done, I might as well give up
- I am better financially, emotionally, or mentally than that person
- I am less than financially, emotionally, or mentally than that person
- I am unloveable
- I should be doing something else
- I give up
Each thought, word, and action can create oneness or separation. As the above yoga sutras remind us, we practice yoga to quiet the fluctuations of the mind. When the mind is quiet, we connect to our oneness. At other times, we forget who we are at our core, and believe the thoughts in our mind. Each of the above thoughts creates a sense of separation. It cultivates an I and a you. It tells me we are different. You are either more than or less than me. We will always challenge each other for balance of power. We will always look at each other with disdain, fear, or contempt. There will always be tension. There will always be suffering.
In such a competitive culture, it is difficult to get beyond many of these thoughts. I see them within myself… can you please at least go the speed limit. please. or at least no less than 10 under. please… I think it’s great that your boyfriends cousins cousins mothers aunt twice removed three times over did something but I would like to pay for my groceries. Please stop talking to the cashier. now. please. stop. TALKING… that person on their yoga mat next to me, who I am not supposed to be watching just did an amazing trick, something I can’t do yet and I have been practicing a really really really long time. What’s wrong with me… These beliefs are the source of underlying tension many of us don’t even realize we are carrying.
This week become conscious of your thoughts. Can you trace them to their source? Do you know your thoughts to be true? Are they damaging to your soul? What would be a positive thought to replace the one you just had? (for example, in my above sentence, instead of questioning my practice, I would say I am grateful for the awareness and many gifts I’ve uncovered through out my practice). Can you see how your thoughts create separation? (Don’t despair. On Thursday, I will be sharing my favorite techniques to challenge our limiting thoughts and invite us each to come home to wholeness and presence.)
I leave you with this beautiful story that is floating around the internet right now:
An anthropologist proposed a game to the kids in an African tribe. He put a basket full of fruit near a tree and told the kids that who ever got there first won the sweet fruits. When he told them to run they all took each others hands and ran together, then sat together enjoying their treats. When he asked them why they had run like that as one could have had all the fruits for himself they said: ”UBUNTU, how can one of us be happy if all the other ones are sad?” ‘UBUNTU’ in the Xhosa culture means: “I am because we are.”