Wrote this while sitting in Cafeteria (formerly the Muddy Cup) last night:

So… I went to bed angry last night and woke up angry this morning.  It’s not a state that’s conducive to restful sleep.  I was jealous of someone; two someones.  I kept asking myself, “Why do they get everything handed to them on a silver platter?  Why do they, without the slightest modicum of planning, preparation, or forethought, stumble into opportunities that make the things for which I’ve worked my ass off look like garbage in comparison?”

And I started thinking about yoga, and to my discredit I started wondering if there was anything in yogic philosophy to justify my anger and jealousy.  I went through the yamas – ahimsa (non-violence), satya (truthfulness), asteya (non-stealing), brahmacharya (restraint from sexual indulgence), aparigraha (non-covetousness) – nope, none of them really worked.  Then the niyamas – sauca (cleanliness), tapas (intense practice), svadhyaya (self-study), isvarapranidhana (offering to a higher power).  No, none of these helped justify the way I was feeling either.

But wait – I only listed four niyamas – aren’t there five?  Which one did I forget?  I thought about it and thought about it and all at once it came to me:  I’d forgotten santosha (contentment).  But far from justifying  my anger and jealousy, remembering santosha was like smothering the fire of my emotions with a warm, cozy blanket and a cup of chamomile tea.  I settled right down.  Patañjali didn’t give me any tools to keep me locked in my pettiness, but he gave me something far better:  the key to escape.  Yoga is rooted in being satisfied and calm with our own circumstances, whatever they may be, regardless of what anyone else may or may not have to deal with.

I turned to yoga looking for something, but found the exact opposite thing instead.  And it was exactly what I needed.


4 Responses

  1. giving you a long virtual hug!

  2. awww… thanks kiddo! need to figure out a way to trade real hugs with you and the missus soon.

  3. Something I need to learn. And happy new year to you!

  4. I really think I need to explore these principles more! Thank you for sharing!

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