This week in class we will be exploring the breath and concentration as a way to choose thoughts that are supportive to you and those around you.
We are what our thoughts have made us; so take care about what you think. Words are secondary. Thoughts live; they travel far.
– Swami Vivekananda
The ancestor of every destructive action, every destructive decision, is a negative thought. We do not have to be afraid of negative thoughts as long as we do not welcome them. They are in the air, and they may knock at anyone's door; but if we do not embrace them, ask them in, and make them our own, they can have no power over us.
We can think of thoughts as hitchhikers. At the entrance to the freeway, we used to see a lot of hitchhikers carrying signs: "
" Mexico," " L.A." One said in
simple desperation, "Anywhere!" Thoughts are a lot like those
hitchhikers. We can pick them up or pass them by. Negative thoughts carry
signs, but usually we see only one side, the side with all the promises. The
back of the sign tells us their true destination: sickness and sorrow.
Nobody is obliged to pick up these passengers. If we do not stop and let them in, they cannot go anywhere, because they are not real until we support them. There is sympathy in the world: pick it up. There is antipathy in the world: don't pick it up. Hatred destroys. Love heals.
Words to Live By: Inspiration for Every Day – Eknath Easwaran
The homework is to learn how you can use the breath (pranayama) as a way to interrupt the mind and slow it down. Learn to use the concentration (dharana) you develop in your asana practice to direct the mind in ways that encourage the scrutiny of your thoughts. Combine the use of both the breath and concentration to choose thoughts that are supportive to you and those around you.
Rushing Water Yoga