”To perform every action artfully is yoga.” ~ Swami Kripalu
Hello Spiritual Warriors!
Do you ever feel like time is flying by?
Do you ever wake up in the morning and before you know it, it’s time to go to bed again?
String together a few of those and a few more and suddenly…it’s the end of another year. And before you know it, you are so far from those resolutions you made on New Year’s Eve. Yes this amazing life of ours seems to be blowing by. But that’s just an illusion that we have created.
Everyone gets the same 24 hours – and we all get to choose what we do with those 86,400 seconds and how we feel about them at the end of each day.
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Meditation can help you enjoy the moments a bit more, but only living life to its fullest can bring you the true joy we all crave. So how do we BE present AND celebrate the magnificence of the present moment?
The answer is pretty simple…we need to create touchstones throughout our day that allow us to touch the sweetness of life so that each hour – each minute – each moment – suddenly becomes a treasure.
So let’s go treasure hunting!!!!
We can start by using the eight limbs of yoga as described by Patanjali 2000 years ago. Yoga is Sanskrit for union…one-ness. And we get to interpret each limb through our lens of one-ness. I’ve written extensively about the Yoga Sutras in Secrets of Meditation and written in depth on the eight limbs in many articles (and here on this blog). But for these purposes, I’ve distilled each limb down to a phrase so that you can then take it and make it your own. Here is a quick interpretation of each limb for the purpose of this process:
1) Yamas or social codes of interacting with the outside world: non-violence, truthfulness, not stealing, conscious choice-making, and non-coveting
2) Niyamas or personal codes of interacting with our inner world: purity, contentment, personal discipline, self-study, surrender to the divine
3) Asana – the physical postures of yoga
4) Pranayama – breathing skills
5) Pratyahara – sensory awareness
6) Dharana – attention
7) Dhyana – meditation
8) Samadhi – one-ness
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Each day, pick one limb and dedicate yourself to living, breathing, flowing the philosophy and practice of yoga. Make it your interpretation – your understanding. Live one limb each day for eight days and then start again. At the end of the month, you will BE yoga. It will flow through every thought, word, and deed.
For example: today – day 1 – pick a yama. I’ll pick non-violence. So all day long I will have the inner conversation of non-violence flowing through me. Every action I take will be performed through the lens of non-violence. Every conversation I have will be non-violent in tone, intention, articulation. I will not impose my will on others. I will not try to be right. I will not bring violence into any moment. And if I find myself trying to prove a point or needing to win, I will stop, back up, and re-set the trajectory of whatever I am doing.
I know that I can experience fulfillment AND success by being wiser rather than stronger. I know that harsh words never lead to happiness. EVER! Living it is an exciting challenge and today I commit to non-violence in every way. Now I have a clear purpose on how I will flow through the world. And in so doing, the world around me will slow; I will have the subtle intention – the sankalpa – flowing through me in every moment. This will indeed be a memorable day.
If we can live each day purposefully, then we have so many moments throughout the day worth celebrating and it is from here that we seize the magnificence of life – squeeze the nectar out of each moment and have something worthy – something of meaning that each day delivers. You will notice very quickly that you will slow down the swirl and find the magnificence of day 1. And then tomorrow, day 2…I’ll pick a niyama and live it. Day 3, I will hold myself in a yoga pose in every moment whether I am standing on a train, sitting at my desk, driving in my car, or walking on the beach. And so on…
You know you have another gear…a gear that you can shift into to take you to the next level of whatever you may be doing at the time. And it’s all about living with purpose. So let’s use the teachings of Patanjali to take us into the next moment!!! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your choice and let me know how your life is unfolding with grace & ease.
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