Tuesday, January 24, 2017

January 24, 2017

True devotion will lead to a reveal of the Self. The only way to experience this revelation is to follow the path of true devotion. In doing so, I will come to realize that everything and everyone is connected in this world. My actions are not just about me, there is a ripple effect of action in my surroundings. The only way that I will be able to see this is to practice with true devotion.

I won’t be able to achieve this vision by only doing bits and pieces of practice. If I just read books without asana, or just do asana without meditation, or meditate without taking care of my physical body, I won’t be able to experience the inward vision that leads to the Self.

I must have true devotion with all my heart to my practice, including all facets of practice in order to experience the greatness of my higher power.

This is something I wrote January 11, 2014 as I was taking my Yoga Teacher Training. We were reading through the Bhagavad Gita, “The Song of the Blessed One,” an ancient yogic text that is typical of studying yoga philosophy. We were told to write about what we thought was the heart of the story in Chapter 11, The Cosmic Vision, and that was what I came up with. There must have been a reason in the universe for that to come to my attention at this time. It was buried in the back of my notebook and I stumbled across it while looking for something else.

It’s always interesting to me how these things happen. There’s a whole chain of events that led up to me finding that the other day. First, back in 2014, I found the Thursday evening meditation group. That led me to my first opportunity to teach yoga, at Esperanza Estates. In April, 2016, I had a new student come to class, she turned out to be my Holistic Counselor. Also through the Thursday meditation group, I was introduced to in November, 2015, to a chakra toning group and started attending that regularly. My new student was interested in exploring the chakra toning and I invited her to come with me to a session. She was given a print out that in addition to having the sounds we use, it had the corresponding bija mantra, (Ham,Vam,Ram,Yam, Lam, Om) next to it. She was curious about that and asked me if I knew anything about using those mantras while making the sounds during toning. I recalled that in my teacher training we had discussed those in relation to the chakras, so I started combing through my notes to see if I could find anything. I eventually did, but it didn’t shed any light on using the mantras as part of the toning. But, I did find that piece of writing that brings me to this point.

I am on my right path. Over 3 years ago I made the decision to study yoga, more than just asana practice. I decided I wanted to learn how to teach others to benefit from all that yoga has to offer. I was apprehensive yet determined. I was full of self-doubt, lacking confidence, and fearful. I think more fear of success than of failure because I knew this was what I really wanted to do. With my devotion to my practice, with asana, meditation and study, I have a greater understanding of my higher power. The thing that guides me and continues to support me along my path. 

Which leads now as to how do I define success? How can I remain humble in that success? To know what I know, and to know what I don’t know and to speak only what I do know. 

My success is my increased knowledge of the human body. To be able to teach others about their bodies and to encourage them to explore themselves. I have been offered teaching opportunities, some that I have had to turn down. I have students who keep coming back to my classes. I have people tell me after 4 weeks of practice they have better balance, or more strength in an area they where they felt weak. I have an experienced teacher as my assistant when teaching Yoga for Beginners. I have a whole interconnected community, or sangha as referred by the Buddhists, that supports me as I move along this path. Senior teachers and students alike offer assistance and guidance, always presenting a learning opportunity as long as I can be open to receive it.

That is my success. It’s not about making money or having a 
bunch of stuff (our stuff eventually owns us, we don’t own it). For me it is about sharing my knowledge in a healthy way with others so they can maintain their own well-being. It’s compassion and loving kindness. Strength, happiness and courage.

How do you define your success?

Lokha Samasta Sukhino Bavantu
May all beings everywhere be happy and free

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