Monday, February 19, 2007

AHIMSA - Non Violence - From Yoga Sutras of Patanjali II-34, 35

"Negative thoughts and emotions are violent, in that they cause injury to yourself and others, regardless of whether they are performed by you, done by others, or you permit them to be done.
They arise from greed, anger, or delusion regardless of whether they arise from mild, moderate, or esxcessive emotional intensity.
They result in endless misery and ignorance.
Therefore, when you consistently cultivate the opposite throughts and emotions, the unwholesome tendencies are gradually destroyed. (II-34)"
By abiding in nonviolence, one's presence creates an atmosphere in which hostility ceases. (II-35)

"Yoga Sutra of Patanjali" II-34, 35 (about Ahimsa)
Interpreted by Mukunda Stiles

I am putting this one up to share with you, one of the teachings from Yoga Sutras, to which I feel we can keep coming back over and over again.
In order to reflect on our thoughts and actions, to see if choices we make in our lives are truly serving us and others around us or not, and also to see if our thoughts & actions are aligned, in harmony in our being. (This leads to the teaching on truthfulness - satya, also from Yoga Sutras)

When we go deeply into this enquiry, we find (well, I do) some things are not so easy to put into practice. In fact, they can be very difficult indeed, when it gets closer to some insecurity that's hidden deeply in ourselves.
However, I also feel that we can always start with whatever we can now, no matter how small, and keep observing more challenging issues over a long period of time, with compassion and without judgment.

By doing so, I feel, we can return 'gradually' into the wholeness of our being - which ultimately leads to our freedom from the deeply seated fear that keeps driving us into unnecessary actions & reactions.
This process takes place sometimes with guidance from trusted others, whether it be a spiritual teacher or a good therapist to help us heal our our psychological wounds, and sometimes by learning to trust one's own self.

Over time, I've recognised that going down the negative thought path is somehow easier than staying positive and light, especially when going gets tough - which is interesting, because when we are suffering, we feel as though we are faced with difficulties - which is true in a sense, because that's how it really feels and it's real to us - but the true challenge actually lies in cultivating the opposite, despite the strong "pull" into indulging ourselves in more painful situations. And by allowing ourselves to continue to be pulled in that direction, we end up perpetuating our own suffering... make sense?
This painful on-going circle must be stopped, the pattern needs to be broken.

One day, it suddenly made very clear sense to me. And that was one of my fist true turning points.
Once seen, recognised and acknowleged with true honesty, then changes are already on their way...
And believe me, it can be done - though it may not seem so at times when our visions are so narrow and solid and so real and you believe that you are in the darkest place with no way out. Wait patiently, persistently and compassionately - you'll find a finest 'crack' in the solid darkness. Stay awake not to miss that crack!
The solidness is only in our mind = not real.
Or in other words, we needed to go through the solid darkness in order to truly recognise and appreciate the freedom and the strength we find in ourselves when finally come through. (It seems unfair for some of us sometimes. It'll always be unfair if we only identify ourselves as our personality with its history. Remember the big one!! Anyway, at least, nothing is your fault! And you have the power to change your thought. If you want to change your life, change your thought, someone told me. That's brilliant!)

We will go through those dark phases, long or short, big drama or small irritation, over and over again throughout our life time. Each time we come through, we are lighter and closer to the wholeness of our being - only to realise that it has always been there. We just like making D-tours.

We can take even a tiny little step toward getting out of negativity. And that is the courageous path of a spiritual warrior.
When failed, the important thing is simply NOT to dwell into our "failure" (= negative thought) and is to keep trying again and again with mindfulness and compassion.
I think that's brave.

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