Monday, June 1, 2015

Finding strength in our practice.

This is my first return to this blog after the 25th April earthquake that hit us here in Nepal reaching a magnitude of 7.8 followed by countless aftershocks, most noticeably the next day on the 26th reaching 6.7 and then again on the 12th May reaching 7.3.  We are still feeling these aftershocks all being in the 4 point something’s the most recent two days ago.  It is a funny thing that you are going about your normal day and within seconds everything is completely different.  More than 8800 people have lost their lives and more than 23000 people have been injured.  Villages have been lost, people have lost their homes all their belongings, beautiful world heritage sites have been lost.  And noticeably people have lost their confidence.  There have been reports made of future earthquakes that will come in the high numbers that have done nothing but further this fear, we could go on and on focusing on the negatives but what good is this and what does it achieve?  Fear breads fear, gossiping and rumours are so damaging, but largely what I have seen here is a nation of people trying to pick themselves up and simply carry on.  Neighbours that may not have even noticed each other before are now caring for each other, today the Nepali schools opened in whatever shape or form they could, people are cooking for each other.  Isn’t this how it should always be? 
This is the best time now for our practice of Yoga, to know the tools we need to heal ourselves and then continue on, to work selflessly as a community as with a spirit of oneness, to put into practice our karma yoga, to work in essence for all, even if this is a simple smile, an act of compassion or sharing a hug.  Everything that is positive is making a difference, to show our resilience and to again look into the true nature of ourselves, this is our yoga practice and this will bring us peace, to know what we truly are, and then we have the understanding that essentially there is nothing to grieve as Lord Krishna explained to Arjuna as he stood on the battle field in the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita.  Yes this life is a battlefield but our yoga practices give us the tools to fight on and eventually reach a place of all contentment, earthquakes and all!  Use the tools that we are so honoured to have received, now is the time not only for those of us here in Nepal but for all of humanity for the good of all living entities and Mother Earth herself.  I would like to share these words from Swami Dayananada on his explanations from the Bhagavad Gita –
“A person who commits himself to the pursuit of knowledge is generally supported by the society which values knowledge.  In modern society scientists are provided with grants and resources for research, being told, in effect, ‘You may discover anything, your hypothesis may prove wrong; it does not matter.  Continue your research – that is enough.’  Society will not disown a person who persues knowledge.  In this way Indian society supports those who dedicate their life to the pursuit of the knowledge of the self.
With the thought of taking a life of an aesthetic than that of a warrior, a new line of thinking was triggered in Arjuna’s mind.  We all experience such reversals in our patterns of thought.  For instance, an overwhelming event, like the death of a friend, may start a chain of inquiry.  ‘This man was alive yesterday.  He is dead now.  What happened to his life?  Was he just the body, or was there something different from the body which left the body and for which the body died?  Is there something more profound, more lasting, than the physical body of flesh and bones?  Am I also the same?  Are all my wants and achievements meaningless?  Should life be spent struggling if the outcome is death?  Can’t I resolve my struggles during my lifetime?’  These questions are fundamental and universal and arise out of ignorance about ourselves.” – Swami Dayananda.
All our pain is coming from our ignorance of what we truly are, all our pain is coming from the limitations of the human condition – the fear of being unhappy, the fear of being ignorant and the fear of death.  It is our sense of inadequacy that causes so many problems for us. 
Lord Krishna states to Arjuna – “ You are grieving over that which deserves no grief, although you may talk words of wisdom.  The wise grieve neither for the living nor for the dead.”
To gain knowledge of our true selves we must be taught, be put on the right path to a place where nothing more and nothing less than absolute consciousness resides.  To be fearless as there is nothing to fear. 
For this we need Yoga, and not just our asana postures that we love, we need all four of the major paths of yoga, Raja yoga – the mystical approach, Bhakti yoga- the devotional approach, Karma yoga – that of action and selfless service and Jnana yoga – that of knowing who am I. 
Let us use the tools that we have been so joyfully given, as a builder knows which hammer to use, an electrician which wires to use, we too as Yogis should know which tools we need at which times in our lives to remain calm and positive and keep our sense of commitment to those that surround us to create a balanced and harmonious world for ourselves and for all of living entities.
I wish and strive towards us all finding our strength no matter where you are or what your situation is, in the practice of yoga.  We are here, we have our breath, the sun rises and the sun falls, everything is in its place.
Om Lokha Somasta Sukhino bhavantu
May you all be happy, balanced and find your peace
Om shanti
Always Om
Mangala / nicky.

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