In a recent visit from a wise person, I was reminded of The Four Agreements, a book written by Mexican author Miguel Angel Ruiz. I've spoken of this before, in its similarity to yogic wisdom. As one of my students said, "It's simple, but not easy". And so, we remind ourselves by eating this good 'spiritual' food. We remember the truth, we practice, we fall short and get back up . . . remember, practice, fall short, get back up . . . remember, practice . . . and this is what we mean by Yoga Living.
- Be impeccable with your word. The foundation of Yoga's 8-Fold Path is ahimsa or non-violence, which applies to how we act, speak and think. We become very conscious of the way we use our energy, and know the power of words. In this way, we only speak words and feelings that embody the energy we want to give forth and cultivate. In karmic language, every action creates a reaction . . . we reap what we sow.
- Don't take anything personally. If our ego is weak and unbalanced, we tend to see ourselves as a victim, whether of someone else's actions or life itself. From a yogic perspective all things are neutral until our mind makes an interpretation of it as good or bad. From a karmic perspective, we draw to us people and situations to help us resolve our karma. Energy is like a magnet-like attracts like. In this way, we are never the victim, but always have a choice to channel our energy into something positive, like learning. Learn to step back from situations and see the larger perspective. Take responsibility for your Self.
- Don't make assumptions. Yoga offers us many opportunities to challenge what we think we know, from doing inversion poses that literally "turn us upside-down" to visual exercises of gazing at space that awaken our understanding that things are not necessarily as they appear. Remember that our human mind is limited. When we can let go of what we think we know, we reduce the suffering created by attachment, and open ourselves to a more expansive wisdom.
- Always do your best. Be present and do your duty in any given moment. Do the work and let the ego step aside. Act for the sake of the action and no expectation of reward. In this way, excellence flows through you!
Peace and be well,