Saturday, March 25, 2017
Austerity is the third niyama. Austerity simply means that on all levels; physically, verbally and intellectually we should develop the power to withstand hunger, thirst, heat, cold and other earthly discomforts so as to attain the unattainable. Without hardships and challenges we never develop self-discipline and self-discipline is needed to attain contentment and thus happiness.
When you over eat, over drink, over spend, or over worry do you ever feel content and happy? Austerity means to keep our mind focused, your words meaningful and your deeds soulfully powerful. Over indulgence ultimately leads to pain. We need balance.
Austerity means to practice self-discipline. It means to stop the mind from clinging to desires. Although it may seem painful and difficult to stop the mind from running after pleasure in the end it will bring you happiness.
No one wants to experience pain, but if truly understood, when someone hurts you, you will thank them because they have given you a great opportunity to practice strength and stability. It is much easier to give pain than to receive it and remain calm. It takes tremendous strength to not react and instead learn from the experience. Austerity means a steady calm mind no matter what the circumstances.
Words are very important. They should be spoken with tranquility, be truthful, pleasant and beneficial. If something is true and unpleasant, make it pleasant. From your mind practice compassion and understanding. Then act with self-control.
The Gita a Sanskrit Hindu text points out three types of austerity; dull, passionate and calm. Those who are inflexible will become dull. Those who practice with the intent of acquiring something are passionate and those who are without desire for any result other than to be content and balanced find calmness. What is gained through dullness and passion will not endure, but that which is attained through calmness purifies and strengthens the body, the mind and the soul. It will endure through all of life’s hardships. Let’s practice.
Be moderate in all your activities. Balance your work, play and soulful pursuits so as not to exhaust you. The body and the mind cling to desires. This exhausts our energy and depletes the soul. When we practice austerity we cleanse the body and the mind and uplift the soul. It is like gold; the more you fire it the purer it gets. So accept what comes into your life with a sense of calmness and you will understand the significance of austerity. What is gained through calmness will endure no matter what the situation should bring.
Saturday, March 18, 2017
Contentment is the second niyama. Contentment simply means to be content with what you have and not desiring that which you have not earned. Never feel disappointed is less than you desire comes into your life. Likewise don’t feel overly elated by what does come into your life. Simply accept and be content with things as they are. This does not mean you should not reach out for more. Simply do so while being content with what you already have.
In your mind don’t be disturbed by things that do not come into your life. Do not complain about society or your fate. Understand the laws of abundance, as well as the laws of karma and all that you earn will come to you.
The most abundant thing in the universe is energy. This is your most valuable asset. Use your energy to improve your life, but never to the detriment of your happiness and your health.
Contentment is to be practiced in thought, word and deed. Be grateful for all that you have. Speak as if you are happy. Pay attention to your tone, intonations and the words that you use. Act as if all that you could ever want is right in front of you. You simply need to reach for it. It is happiness, health and peace. What else could you possibly want? Material things come and go, but contentment, once found can last forever.
The things of the material world are useless to the soul and yet they are an important part of your evolution. Enjoy the pleasures of life that come to you and refuse to squander time being disheartened, but what seems to elude you. It’s all just energy rearrange to suit a certain purpose. Pay attention to what comes into your life and what goes out of your life. Everything in life is constantly changing. What might be important today might be meaningless tomorrow.
Avoid comparison and competition. Each of us is unique so comparison, competition and envy are useless. It is o-k to strive for more just do it from a place of contentment. Be happy with what you have earned and then do the work to earn more. It is called punja which means merits or good deeds. Punja is all you take with you when you leave this world. The soul who renounces greed acquires contentment and therefore has everything. Be content.
Saturday, March 11, 2017
The Niyamas are things that it is suggested we observe. The five points of the yamas and the niyamas are very similar to the Ten Commandments and the ten virtues of Buddhism. All faiths have these same codes of ethics and morals. These are the foundation upon which to build a spiritual life. Without them nothing we build can ever last. Just like the things we abstain from (yamas) these should be practice in thoughts, words and actions.
Purity is the first niyama. It is different than celibacy which means to simplify your life. Purity means to cleanse. Purity of thought means to lift your consciousness above the level of power and survival and into the pureness of the heart chakra energy. Mental purity is acquired by practicing compassion, understanding and kindness, or whatever brings about peaceful and pure thoughts.
Words are very powerful. It is said that a wound from an arrow will heal, but the wound from words last forever. Words that are consoling, harmonizing, gentle, uplifting and straightforward are purity of speech. Mantras such as OM are often used to invoke purity. If you always speak the truth a time will come when all you say will come true. Established in purity our life becomes an open book. We have no need to fear anything.
When it comes to the body it means cleanliness both inside and out. That means we should eat clean and pure foods, as well as keep the body groomed and our environment clean. One of the ways to cleanse the body is to practice asana or the yoga poses. Let’s get started.
When our thoughts, words and actions are pure we are in harmony with life. Things come easily to us. We simply flow with life. Concentration is easy when the mind is clear. When the mind is clear we can accomplish anything. Purity means to cleanse our thoughts, words and deeds. If something negative should rise replace it with something positive. If you should speak a harsh word replace it with a word of kindness. If you act in ways that harm yourself or the environment replace the action with healthy choices. In this you will be pure. Follow the truth with a pure heart and you will have nothing to fear because the truth will always be with you. Be pure.
Saturday, March 04, 2017
Non greed – it I said that if we could practice this one suggestion we would not need to practice the others. Greed creates craving and cravings cause us to act violently. Greed causes us to lie and manipulate for our own gain. With greed we take what we want without respect. The mind is always scattered because with greed we always want more.
Non greed does not mean we should not enjoy life. It simply means we should not reach out beyond our soulful propriety to physically take, mentally want or verbally try to persuade, coax or flatter someone into doing something for our own benefit.
When the mind becomes obsessed with greed the life forced gets scattered. Therefore the mind needs to detach; not from the object of desire, but from the obsessive desire to possess. On a verbal level we should not talk too much especially about other people and trivial things.
Physical non-greed means we should not be too attached to anything; even our family and friends. Do not become jealous or envious of others good fortune. Be aware that even good fortune brings with it certain obligations and complications. Be satisfied with what you have and what you have earned through your own efforts.
It is also important to pay your debts. These include be indebted to your parents, family, friends and your culture. For a noble soul it is easy to repay debts. It means to make the world a better place. This is called the noble obligation. If you receive more in this life than you need; funnel your wealth into noble and humanitarian causes.
The soul established in non-greed begins to understand what he or she is, what he or she has and what he or she is mostly likely to encounter in the next reincarnation. We are simply souls passing through this incarnation. Do with this life as you will. It is suggested that you Practice non-greed – be generous.
Yoga is about balancing the energy of your body, mind and soul. The yamas are suggestion or guidepost for achieving a state of contentment and happiness. Use them to improve your life and you will make the world a better place. The yamas should be followed as they pertain to each situation in life. If you are craving something like a candy bar the mind will become scattered by the craving. Perhaps it is better to buy the candy bar, eat half of it, throw the rest away and then spend the rest of the day without a scattered mind. There is no cookbook for life. Each situation in life is uniquely different. So it is suggested that with each situation in life we; be kind, be honest, be respectful, be pure and be generous. In this we make the world a better place.Doctor Lynn