At sutra study today it was just Debra and this tall blonde lady. I missed her name but I liked her. She was straight to the point, open, honest and not ashamed at how she feels or sees the world.
The focus of the discussion today was on how to heal ourselves and to not feel the bad feelings that cause us suffering. We need to reflect on why people make us feel the way we do and find a way to forgiveness. Forgiveness does not mean acceptance of their behaviour but a means for us not to carry around anger, pain, guilt, jealousy or any other unhealthy emotions.
All of the five translations to study sutra 1.33 discussed the idea of balancing emotions. If you do not let good or bad feelings control and dominate your mind and actions then you will see the world more clearly. Emotions are responses to events. Events that are history, over immediately after they happen. So why do we carry the memory of them with us? Why do we let the emoitions linger? Each situation has a different reason but it all is too do with how the mind works.
Many times I have felt upset only to have it fade into happiness without my being aware. I cry and then all of a sudden I get an email and am lifted and see hope. This moment of hope, or happiness will be a moment as well. I need to find that spot where I can be stable. Where I can be content. I need to find Joy. Like what we studied in our first sutra class – our natural state. I am exhausted bouncing between my emotions. I want off this roller coaster.
Devi, from her book The Secret Power of Yoga translates this sutra as the following:
To preserve openness of heart and calmness of mind, nurture these attitudes:Kindness to those who are happy.
Compassion for those who are less fortunate.
Honour for those who embody noble qualities.
Indifference to those whose actions oppose your values.
At first when Debra read this to us I thought, ‘Duh of course. That makes perfect sense. Why wouldn’t I be happy for someone who is happy?’ Then she gave the example of someone starting a business that would compete with her yoga studio. How can she find it in herself to be happy for them when it is at her expense?
What a great example. She did find peace and happiness for this yoga studio. She settled down and remembered that we all have gifts to give and who she can’t reach perhaps this studio can.
She gave examples of the others too but I can’t even remember them now. The one about happiness just stuck with me – how simple it seemed and it wasn’t. It could be one of the hardest things to do. Like, why isn’t Craig happy for my happiness in quitting my job? Does that apply here?
Debra broke down the four attitudes to try and maintain: friendliness, compassion, goodwill and neutrality. It all sounds so easy but it isn’t. How can I apply this to my life? To my emotions with Craig, with working, with being a mother and wife?