A Bit of Sunlight – November Sutra Study

Dear Self,

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?

What is work?

“A society that treats individuals like a natural resource and puts about all it’s mechanisms to extract everything from them.  Designed to drain us all of our energy in order to feed itself.  We are not encouraged to live our lives instead we are continually distracted from doing so.

We take jobs that set about bleeding as much of us that is possible with careful calculations done to hopefully leave just enough at the end of the day so that we will be able to survive and recoup for the next morning.”

– Discovering The Opposite of Hate by Rene Low, to be published.

This is an excerpt from my friends memoir.  I felt a strong emotion within me when I read this.  I knew immediately I wanted to share it and put it out in the world.  I felt like this before I dove into burnout.  My days seemed empty and I often wondered what the point of life was if it was.

My friend was seven months through his journey in Europe when he said this.  He described his position, or opportunity, as being able to “slip between the cracks of society and take a look at the machinery.”

Have you ever felt this way?  Like you were left just enough energy to get yourself up and head into work the next day?

Check out Rene’s site.

A Bit of Sunlight – the first 30 pages

Well everyone, this is a bit more than ‘A Bit of Sunlight’.  I have posted the first 30 pages into a flip book that you can read online.

I have had it edited over by three friends and I was just told that there are still some grammatical errors.  Never enough fresh eyes.  I am posting it despite my not having time to return and find those errors.  I will assure you that Sunlight will be edited by a professional before it is published.

My intention is to offer a taste of it, to hear thoughts regarding flow, if you are attracted to the story at all, or anything else that pops up, even grammatical errors.

Click here to read the first 30 pages.

M