Posts Tagged ‘life’
By Idit Hefer Tamir
As Sri Swami Satchidananda explains in his interpretation to the Bhagavad Gita, (The Living Gita – the complete Bhagavad Gita /A commentary for modern readers by Sri Swami Satchitananda), the “Kurukshetra”, the battle field, is not something that happens as a once off event, but rather a constant battle within us; good against bad, faith against doubt, judgment against compassion and so on. This battle exists probably within all of us on a daily basis and probably even more in those of us who drifted away from religion and do not have this inner faith in a supreme power the same way that religious people might have. Saying that just because one is religious or a yogi does not necessarily mean he is enlightened and free from all sufferings or doubts.
Unfortunately our mind, our physical body and our heart and spirit have become separate. They no longer have the ability to converse, to listen and to respect the needs of one another. We tend to ignore the signs that are sent to us and end up sick and unhappy in one of them or most likely in all of them as they are interconnected.
Very early in the Bhagavad Gita Krishna tells Arjuna that his main reason for suffering is because his mind, heart and body are not saying the same things. He thinks one thing, acts differently and feels a completely different thing to the other two.
The “Kauravas” in the Bhagavad Gita represent what we would probably describe as “negative emotions and states of mind” where as the Pandavas represent the positive.
I was asked by my teacher to describe my own battle field which was an extremely interesting experience. I often read from the Bhagavad Gita and theme my classes around it and share it with my students but suddenly when needed to take such a concept which is so easy to understand as long as it is not imposed on my life, became extremely challenging and even paralyzing. Putting it down in writing would mean admitting what the mind tries so hard to ignore, to hide, to repress. At the same time there is even a deeper fear that the ego will take over and will not allow me to admit it all to the fullest and then there will be a feeling of “failure” and a feeling that all that I have done so far and believe in will turn out to be in vain.
I feel that my biggest “Kaurava” is Fear.
This fear has been a part of me as long as I can remember myself. I feel that is perhaps a “genetic” part of me. Since I was a child I heard the stories of my grandparents’ experiences in the holocaust which were horrifying. I felt that being “Jewish” was a curse as so many people around the world hate me for simply being this; a Jewish Israeli. Through the years this fear has expended to other fields of my life; mainly the fear of failing, of not excelling. This has often led me to completely avoiding experiencing new things / emotions / thoughts and closing me down even though I used to think of myself as an ‘open minded person’. My posture reflected this and I was shutting my heart to the outside world.
All my life I was an atheist. My ancestors have lost their faith in “God” after everything they went through, which I can completely understand. I was brought up with no reference to “God” or “Spirit”. When I stepped into the Laughing Lotus in NYC, about 13 years ago, it was the first time I felt this connection to my spirit awaken and since then it has been an interesting and challenging journey. Through Yoga, I learn to face these fears every time I step on my mat, to open my heart, and through challenging myself to reinforce and find faith in myself and in what I am capable of doing (which is really EVERYTHING). I am reminded of the connection to the spirit and to a higher power, whatever names we wish to name it.
I hope that this practice supports you somehow in some similar way as we all continue this beautiful journey called “life” and progress towards freedom and happiness.
By Olivia Rae
One of the first lessons on my spiritual path was that I am the creator of my own reality…my own life. Yes you read that right, we are the creators! Powerful stuff, huh?! But it is true – we do create our reality – the state of our health, happiness and each situation we find ourselves in, were created and manifested by us, by each thought, each word and each action we made, consciously or unconsciously.
“‘I once knew a guy like you. I met him on a construction site in the Midwest. When the lunch whistle blew, all the workers would sit down together to eat. And every day, Sam would open his lunch pail and start to complain. ‘Son of a gun!’ he’d cry, ‘not peanut butter and jelly sandwiches again. I hate peanut butter and jelly!’ He whined about his peanut butter and jelly sandwiches day after day, until one of the guys on the work crew finally said ‘Fer crissakes Sam, if you hate peanut butter and jelly so much, why don’t you just tell yer ol’lady to make you something different?’ ‘What do you mean my ol’lady?’ Sam replied. ‘I’m not married. I make my own sandwiches.’” – story out of Way of the Peaceful Warrior, by Dan Millman
You see, we all make our own sandwiches. When we are running around, allowing ‘stuff’ to fill our lives, not paying attention to how we are thinking, speaking (internally and externally) and acting, we can find ourselves in situations and ask ‘how did I get here??’ Then usually, we seem to come up with some sort of answer – you know, blaming others for getting us here, it couldn’t possibly be us who actually chose this! But in truth, it was us. It is us who have chosen it.
It seems easy to talk about this now, but at first this was one tough lesson. Playing the victim of life seemed so much easier to me, even though I hated my reality. It was easier to blame my ex-boyfriend to how shitty and empty I felt. It was easier to blame my parents for my body image problems, my eating habits, my wealth, my health – and everything under that umbrella that you can blame parents for, I did. It was easier to even blame my hatred towards my job on someone else (I don’t even remember who I blamed this on – but of course it wasn’t my fault!). And because I was dealt all these crappy cards, it was therefore their fault for my depression and numbness to life.
Once I understood that the quality of my life was my own responsibility, I started little by little to change my thoughts, words & actions, to ones that were aligned to my truth, my higher self – planting seeds that would enrich my life, giving it meaning and purpose.
Now looking back, I am so grateful to each one of these cards I was dealt, for they were not shitty cards but gifts. Gifts that have guided me to live a life full of meaning & passion. Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that I would be here now, with so much love and joy for life.