Saturday, June 25, 2011

yoga = mind over matter (much easier said than done)

In my reading of the yoga sutras (A.K.A the yoga bible), I've come across one phrase, several times, said in several different ways. This phrase makes sense on the surface, but when I try to put it into practice, my brain shorts out. Have you ever repeated your name out loud so many times that after awhile it sounds foreign to you? That's exactly what these phrases do to me when I think about them and try to meditate on them. It's pretty disorienting.

"There is nothing wrong with this world. You can make it a heaven or a hell according to your approach."
"By changing your mind, you change everything...there is nothing wrong with the outside, it is all in the mind."
excerpts from the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

Yoga is essentially the ability to control your mind. The entire world is as you view it. If I can control my mind and how it takes everything in, I am living yoga.

What?! How now brown cow?

So, what I'm saying is: If you perceive it to be true, it is. If I stare at a piece of green cloth and tell myself it is red, it will become red. Right? Sounds weird.

Here's a more practical, real world application. It's almost 2:30 a.m. My boyfriend isn't home from hanging out with his friends at the bar. He said he would be home by midnight. He hasn't responded to any of my texts and when I've called him, it goes straight to voice mail or only rings twice. How many scenarios can you come up with, explaining what could possibly be happening in this situation? Before you even started thinking, I've come up with at least seven.
  1. He drank too much and he got arrested for being drunk in public.
  2. He got hit by a drunk driver on his way home.
  3. He was the drunk driver who hit someone.
  4. He fell asleep behind the wheel and is in a ditch somewhere.
  5. He hit a deer.
  6. He met some charming girl and has gone home with her and when he comes home he will break up with me.
  7. He didn't go where he said he was going when he left the house and he's joined a secret society and is now planning my death.
  8. He is purposefully ignoring my calls because he finds me annoying and he doesn't love me anymore.
  9. He left his phone in the car on purpose because he knew I would be worried about him and he doesn't want to talk to me. Because he's a big, fat jerk.
  10. I said seven scenarios, didn't I? Here I am at 10, already.
Now, no matter which option I choose, I can totally convince myself that it is a reality. He will get home and I will be a fit of nerves, shaking with the certainty of the reality I've created. All by myself in my brain. Granted, I will use past experiences, my friends' situations, films, and other fun fabrications to foster this forged reality, but it will be anything but reality.
What a waste of energy, no? I could have just said to myself, I'm really annoyed that he's not available to communicate right now. But, instead of worrying about something over which I have no control, I'm going to pour myself a glass of wine, pop in a movie, make a bowl of popcorn and enjoy this peaceful night at home. Then, when he gets home, instead of accosting him with the questions that I could have been forming to figure out if my alternative universe was indeed a reality, I could just say, "Hi. How are you? How was your night?" And then after he shares that information with me, I am totally allowed to say, "I was a little worried about you for awhile. You didn't take my calls or answer any of my texts. I'm glad you're safe." Because that's honesty. And honesty is important.

But what about for harder situations? Like illness? I'm currently developing a handsome, little cold. Can I convince myself that this won't be a full blown virus and thereby I will feel better as soon as I perceive that to be true? How do I convince myself that I'm not getting sick, while I feel like absolute crud? 

I believe the answer is: very carefully.

No comments:

Post a Comment