Wanting things to change?
When we need something, anything, to change - whether we want to feel better, look better, or that we want something to stop, or go away - we are in re-action to life as it is. We are discontent with life as it is; we are unhappy.
Detachment is a practice that allows us to stay present, rather than react. When we are present, we cultivate a state of calm. We think more clearly. Action that arises from being calm and present to life as it is, is free from the unhappiness that underpins desire for change.
When we develop a practice of detachment, we learn to watch our desire for change, and our fear that things may not be changing.
Detachment is not dis-interest. Dis-interest is a shutting out, or blocking off from the experience we are having. Dis-interest is a denial of life as it is. It is a re-action that comes from the discomfort of feeling powerless.
Dis-interest is an attempt at ‘not’ feeling. We do not want to have the feelings we are having and we seek to avoid them. The feelings that arise are confronting to us and we may not have the skills to work through those feelings.
In yoga it is understood that attachment and aversion, or desire and fear, are the same force. It is being expressed in different ways.
Desire and fear disturb our perception of events. They confuse our understanding of life as it is. In the confusion, it is easy to become needy – seeking, grasping, desiring that things change.
Life lived from desire or fear is bound to arrive into a state of discontent. We might achieve that thing (which can be anything from losing weight to getting a new job) that we have been desiring, only to feel empty again after a short while. We are still unhappy.
When we pay attention to life as it is, our relationship to life changes. We are no longer living in our thoughts and memories, our imaginations. When we are deeply attentive to a situation, we become calm because the nervous system changes. Our brain, and emotional faculties, function differently. We are available to the experience – the experience of life as it is; and life becomes as a journey of learning and growing, rather than an experience of desire and fear.
Our actions, when we are deeply attentive, are not from desire to change, but rather we change, and actions become the result, or outcome of change - change that has already occurred within us. Things change as we change.
Develop a practice that trains your mental antennae.. what your mind pays attention to. Pay close attention to what your experience is, moment by moment. Engage in whatever the moment offers with heart and interest. In this way you bring, to each moment, your Self. A Self that is not broken. Not needing change. Every activity or task is part of your life. Each moment is your life. To live it, requires that you pay attention to it.
Fears and desires are reactions to the past and the future. Moment is the only place you actually live your life. Practice being in the power of your own presence.
Facing the Gestapo at his door, the man spoke with confidence and authority, “No Jews here”. The man was of course lying. A family of Jews had been living in the basement for many months. An exploration of why internal clarity and inner authority is necessary to navigate life.
Due to poor balance I had never consider yoga was for me as the images most often seen in posters and magazines show perfect bodies with amazing balance. October 2014 a few weeks before my 71st birthday I walked into my first yoga class. I have been asked “is it worth all the effort at your age?" My answer is “YES” yoga is even more important as we age. Seniors have experienced a life time of stress, raising a family, paying the mortgage, working at our chosen careers as well as balancing a family household. We have all experience grief, loosing grand parents, parents, aunts and uncles now at age 76 I am loosing cousins and life long friends. Our bodies have endured a life time of wear and tear from injuries, poor posture due to sitting and working at desks and repetitive actions such as housework and gardening.Yoga is ideal for all seniors even those with physical limitations, in our classes it can be quite normal to have several variations of a pose to suit individual needs. Learning to work with your body not against it is the same challenge regardless of age. Nursing several old injuries I do not want to add to them, I am very grateful to have well qualified teachers who are attentive to my needs and dedicated to keeping all students safe whilst practising. Yoga is not a quick fix for all ailments, I still experience some back and ankle discomfort but now rarely need to take pain medication. Today I am sleeping more soundly but occasionally still have a restless night. My time management has improved although at times I still talk to myself and loose focus. The big difference is I feel I am in control of my afflictions they are not controlling me. I am coping better and with my regular yoga practise I hope to prevent my health concerns from becoming chronic. Hopefully I can reach savasana with less suffering and with more dignity than my mother. Joan
Yoga is a state of Being and the journey to awaken into this state is regular practice over a long period of time. Our pricing system supports this understanding.