This week in class we are exploring the fifth and sixth limbs of Yoga: Pratyahara – refinement and/or withdrawal of the senses and Dharana – concentration.
There is no greater trouble for thee than thine own self, for when thou art occupied with thyself, thou remainest away from God.
– Abu Sa'id
Do you want to be free? Most of us are held hostage in life by our likes and dislikes. We are bound by countless little preferences in food, clothing, decor, entertainment - the list goes on and on.
The person with rigid tastes in one area, for example in food, is likely to have rigid tastes elsewhere as well. He will probably enjoy only one kind of music, she will appreciate only one style of art, and when it comes to people, he has very definite allergies. In any case, a rigid person is conditioned to be happy only so long as he gets everything the way he likes it. Otherwise - which may be most of the time - he is unhappy over something.
The way we respond to small matters reflects the way we will respond to the larger matters of life. If we can begin to release ourselves from our little likes and dislikes, we will find that we are gaining the capacity to weather emotional storms. Then we can begin to face whatever comes calmly and courageously.
Words to Live By: Inspiration for Every Day – Eknath Easwaran
The homework is to consider the fifth and sixth limbs of Yoga: Pratyahara – refinement and/or withdrawal of the senses and Dharana – concentration, as a way to help you observe your likes and dislikes. As you observe see if you can challenge some of your automatic response patterns and rigidity. See for yourself if challenging some of your patterns of response and rigidity allows you to approach life more calmly and courageously.
Rushing Water Yoga