Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Patanjali's Sword



Just last night, I was reading Patanjali's Yoga Sutras thinking, "I wonder when Jennifer's going to teach us the Ashtanga Opening Chant." When I showed up in class today, she said, "I feel intuitively it's time for us to start learning the chant." And so we did.

Jennifer talked a little bit about the chant and Patanjali. Patanjali is the sage who we can thank for the Yoga Sutras, and therefore the living tradition of yoga. Jennifer says he's depicted holding a sword, (and other things too) and his sword is the sword of discernment. This symbol points to the true guru being  you; we are the ones who decide what is true for ourselves.

Ohmygosh, totally. I have been thinking about that so much lately. A few weeks ago, I was telling my teacher Jen (different Jen from the Jennifer mentioned above!) about something that happened and she told me that I could have done better by that thing that happened. Listening to her feedback, I just knew in my heart that what she was saying wasn't true for me. I knew I had done the best I could have, at that time, with that particular hand I had been dealt. I thought about telling her, "No, you're wrong!" But I decided it was OK, although I respect her opinion infinitely, what really matters, is what I think. That very same day, I was at an intersection about to make a left turn. The car driving towards me had its left turn signal on. Entering the intersection, the car slowed down, I presumed to take the left that it was signalling, so I began slowly to make my left too. Wouldn't ya know, that car came barreling through, not left, but straight and thankfully, I stopped before it plowed into my car. The lady in the car was not happy, she clenched her fists in the air and yelled something at me. To my great surprise I was only a tiny ruffled by this incident and not at all by the lady. I knew she had her turn signal on. She thought I was wrong, whereas I knew I had done everything I could with all of the information that was presented to me.

Baron Baptise is with me on this one, "You don't need people's permission or approval to act on what you know in your heart is right." But, as always, use caution when heavy machinery is involved.

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