Thursday, July 10, 2014

Gratitude, as a state of yoga

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I am guilty of confessing that my association with gratitude has been more in transgression. Too late, at 51, to find out that one is a cribber?! Maybe not, if you believe in rebirths, that somewhere now, this moment, if the awareness is complete, you may actually power yourself out of any mire.

So, yes, I realize, when I crib about the rains, that I also want it. When I crib about having to get up early mornings without the opportunity of a Casual Leave(oh, to be employed, once more, only for that paid leave luxury:) that I forget how happy I am that the rest of the entire day  is my own -- a luxury very few people, who work and earn. When I crib about giving the best of practice time to my students, that I forget that I  am grateful for so many who have lasted so many years with me, and a lot of my strengths as a teacher comes from each of them, and that I have learnt a lot in giving, from their being around.  Every short coming one has had, and has, is also a blessing in some way.

I realize this gratitude is a tricky thing. For instance, maybe you are not grateful because you feel cheesy thinking of the cosmic energy as some Godfather doling out goodies. But even if you did not think cheesy things, does it stop you from cribbing? If you did not crib, you are grateful. But which of us does not crib.

I realize we are caught between the devil and the deep sea. For one, we think being grateful to the cosmos is cheesy. The other side, we think if we did not crib, it means we are complacent, and are going to be stuck where we are, painting ourselves into a corner. This latter, I think, is why many of us who are action-oriented find it so difficult to be grateful. We shoot ourselves in our foot, when we do that.

No, it is not I who found out this amazing truth.

I am reading Louise L. Hay (and her friends') book titled  "Gratitude A way of life."

Here is something that may make sense from that book:
"Think about how you feel when you give a gift to a person. If the person looks it and her face falls or she says, "Oh, it is not my size, or not my color, or I never use anything like that or is that all there is." then I am sure you will have little desire to give her a present again. However, if her eyes dance with delight and she is pleased and thankful, then every time you see something she would like, you want to give it to her,whether you actually do or not.

"Gratitude brings more to be grateful about. It increases your abundant life.

"The Universe always gives us what we believe we deserve. Many of us have been raise to look at what we do not have and to feel only lack. We come from a belief in scarcity and then wonder why our lives are so empty.

"What Universe hears is:"I don't have and I am not happy," and that is what you get more of."

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In yoga, I understand, this state comes from a quiescent mind which is indifferent to pleasure or pain. It is quiet because it is content, which is the same shade or another expression of gratitude.

This state of yoga is the nirvikalpa Samadhi -- here we can move about, live a full life, doing our duties, but unagitated by either good or bad that befalls us. There is no anxiety, no desire, no propulsion despite the dynamism. It would be a difficult state, but Yoga Vashishta says this state of yoga is where the mind can offer worship at the alter of intellect and be able to control and discipline the wild elephant of the lower mind. Then, so, gratitude is a state of the higher self...

Maybe that is why it is so difficult to experience that as a continuum.. and that is why we are amazed at our prophets, that they feel that, and we look up at them, aspirationally.

But why should gratitude be so difficult to achieve as a state of mind. That is an interesting thought..

Yoga Journal, which I earlier used to look askance because it would not cover the mind aspect of yoga (without which it is not yoga really) has been taking up such topics too. Here is there article on gratitude for those who wish to take this idea further. In fact, there are several articles on the subject there that would be worth pursing.

Btw. my little guru Prachi Malik had this to say. As usual, she got it compact and so-correct: that for a complete sense of gratitude, all the chakras have to be balanced.

That makes so much sense.. maybe that is why we cannot be grateful. Until all our disharmonies are cleansed away:)

1 comment:

Julie Wilcox said...

I like the core exercises, poses, and muscles and tendons that you work out through yoga. Yoga got me in amazing shape for the summer!

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