Tuesday, 24 April 2012

The Past Month

The past month I have been undertaking an intensive Yoga Teachers Education Program at Atma Vikasa Yoga Kutira in Mysore India. Amongst (and induced by) all the breathing, sweating, chanting, backbending, twisting and nasal flossing there have been some significant lessons learnt. Here a few that I would like to share with you, which are relevant both on and off the yoga mat.

Knowledge from Experience
We gain knowledge through experience. Only when you experience something fully can you come to learn it and know it. You might know of something or know about something through words you have heard or read, but don't be deluded; knowing about or of something is not the same as actually knowing it.

Take for example someone who lives in the desert and has never seen the coast. They might have read or heard about the beach and know that there are waves, sand, seagulls etc but without ever having the experience of being at the beach, they can't actually know what the beach is.

Knowing a word and knowing the thing that the word means or represents are not the same thing. Without the experience, knowledge is a verbal delusion.

"I Can"
The power of the mind is astounding. In line with "Knowledge from Experience" I need more experience of my own mind before I can comprehend the extent of its capacity. However, to just touch the tip of the iceberg, I want to share what I know about thinking "I can" as opposed to "I cant".

I learnt this particular lesson in backbending class. Backbending is much more than a physical challenge. There is something about extending your body into confronting and challenging postures that highlights any limitations you have in your mind whether they be fears, aversions or attachments.

The most common thought that comes up is "I can't" which also arises in many other contexts for so many of us. Here's the thing though, "Icant" is nothing more than a self imposed limitation. It is a thought in your mind that you invest your belief in until it becomes so strong that it dominates your actions. If you think "I cant" and believe "I cant" then you are absolutely right, you wont be able to. If you are doing something or about to do something and you have the thought "I cant" in your mind, at that very moment before you even act your are done. Gone. Finished. It is game over right there with that "I cant" thought and belief. That is, unless you catch the mind mid "I cant thought" and decide to change that thought to "I can".

"I can" is the only thought that will win over "I cant". Whether "I can" or "I cant" wins is determined on your belief, ability to focus and where you are investing your energy.

So if you are wanting to do something but are failing, you first of all need to identify the self imposed "I cant" belief. Then, make a clear and conscious decision to choose "I can". Believe that you can and accept that you can. You need to say "I can", think I can", believe "I can" and feel "I can" until there is no doubt that you will. Sometimes you can do this instantaneously, but other times there's a lot more involved then what originally meets the eye so it takes more time along with courage, strength and willpower. But don't limit yourself with time or expectations, work on your thoughts and keep persisting until you do it.

Once you have done it, or given it your best attempt, then think and reflect. Resolve any mental conflicts that you have and keep believing that you can. Work sincerely and have faith that the result will come.

The importance of purpose is commonly overlooked. Purpose is a primary motivator that provides direction and focus. When it comes to making a decision, a choice or performing some action, the fundamental basis is a question of purpose. What is the purpose? If you can answer that question then you will be able to easily make your choice or action.

The purpose will also provide you with a point of reference. Sometimes its difficult for us to see whether something is good or bad. However with your purpose in mind, if something is taking you towards your purpose you can confirm that it good, on the other hand something taking you away from your purpose you can determine is bad.

Have clarity of mind towards a purpose. You can implement rules or limitations or systems in the name of achieving a purpose. But recognise when you have outgrown it, when it is no longer serving you and your purpose. At that point it is done so drop it and move on.

Only you can determine the purpose of something for yourself. So know your purpose just as you know yourself and stay true to both.

No comments:

Post a Comment