It’s now exactly a month since Christmas! How time passes! I’m sure many of us are now stuck back into work and our everyday lives, with lots to do (possibly too much?) and just focusing on what we think we need to do. So, I’d like to offer you a quotation from Ram Dass, an American spiritual teacher with which you may find some resonance:
“The quieter you become, the more you can hear.”
What does that mean?
To a greater or lesser extent, we all have a little voice that chatters away in our head. This may (or may not) be helpful to you. Only you can decide. My own experience tells me that, if we are able to turn down the volume on some of that constant chatter, we can better connect with our true inner voice and listen to what is really important in our lives.
Accordingly to Patanjali, who wrote down the Yoga Sutras (the threads of wisdom which form the teachings of the eight paths of yoga to follow to reach enlightenment) about 2,500 years ago, yoga is the control of thought waves in the mind, not allowing its chatter to distract us from knowledge who we truly are. He said that we need to practise being focused, but, when the mind is silent, we can connect with our true self.
That may sound lofty, but it’s still at the heart of yoga today and is, for me, one of the main reason why I find yoga so important in my life. On occasions I have a whole negative committee that meets from time to time in my head and I have to remember to tell it to shut up and sit down! In other words, it’s the thoughts that go round and round in our minds, that get can bigger and bigger and which, in reality, do not always reflect the truth.
So, if you have a little nagging voice, a large booming one or even a whole committee that tries to take over your life, at the very least, remember to stop and take a breath for a moment. If you can make a little time in your life for some yoga, I am sure the benefits will more than repay the effort. By taking the time to calm the body and calm the mind, we can begin to become aware of how we really feel and what is really happening in our lives.
By turning down that volume in the chattering mind, we start to listen and to hear our true inner voice. When we allow ourselves to be more truly aware, we find that the options and choices open to us are bigger than we ever realised.
© Sarah Swan (25 January 2017)