For practice to take shape and in order to experience a deeper level of AWAKENING, we must be COMMITTED. Patanjali describes this in sutra 1.14, translated as, “Practice becomes grounded through consistent, earnest, uninterrupted effort for a long period of time”. Whether it’s commitment to our mat practice, commitment to reaching a goal, or commitment in a relationship, all require staying interested, asserting great care and focus, and practicing patience and honesty. It’s not rocket science, and yet, how often are we dishonest or simply don’t care and we hurt ourselves, or get bored and lose interest and then struggle to find meaning in our lives? How often do we give up on goals when faced with shortcomings? How often do we call it quits when the “honeymoon” phase is over in a relationship and issues come up around trust, intimacy, and vulnerability?
I often tell students that where our minds go, energy flows. Dharana, or one pointed focus, is one of the eight limbs of yoga. Our ability to cultivate focus comes more easily when our senses are less reactive, the mind is relatively still, and a deep level of present-time awareness arises. Think Olympic athletes, they are great at focusing!
I also tell students that traits lie on a spectrum, and what can be our greatest gift can also be a curse, when the mind is out of balance. Being focused can also look like obsession or narcissism or having dysfunctional, control issues. Where each of us falls on the spectrum can waiver, and is determined largely by the quality of our mind and thoughts.
Are you committed to love and peace both within and globally, or is it more important that your ego has the upper hand, the last laugh, and that others pay for their perceived errors?
Where do YOU put attention and focus? What is the quality of YOUR mind? And where does that fall within the spectrum of things?