A blog is a curious thing. It’s meant for the world to see but it seems to be a form of personal growth for the writer in the end. I can only write when inspired and the process cannot be forced, it must flow. Of course, the focus of my life for a time has been the science and spirituality of Yoga so it naturally fuels my writing and is the well spring of my inspiration.
A few weeks ago, I began to read the Bhagavad Gita, an ancient Vedic text that is required reading for Yoga teachers. This is my second attempt at delving into this deepest study of the forms of Yoga and Eastern spirituality. It’s way over my head but part of the Yogic path is to study with a ‘Beginner’s mind’ and take the lessons you are prepared to comprehend as they arrive. I find myself studying the same concepts over and over and only when I am ‘ready’, do they suddenly make sense.
The ‘Gita’ is the story of the battle for your soul. The ‘battle’ of living to your highest potential- your greatest self. Full of allegory and symbolism, the story is both an esoteric examination of self-realization as well as a simple tale of a ‘hero’ caught between his family ties and his life path. Then, life happened and the words began to jump off the page into my heart. My grandson became critically ill. In my mind, the world began to move in slow motion and it was like the heartbeat of my life slowed. Life…showing me who is boss…kicking me in the ‘jimmy’ (as a co-worker likes to say)…reminding me that I am not enlightened…I am what they call a ‘householder’. Householders are Yogi’s that continue to live a ‘regular’ life. We don’t live in an ashram and practice meditation and yoga from sunrise to sunset. We have responsibilities and ‘attachments’ to others. We serve. We earn. I am a worker, a mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a friend..and I occupy the role most cherished to me – I am a Grandmother.
The story of Arjuna (the ‘hero’) comes down to how he will interpret the scriptures and his place in the universe. Will he act? Will he choose inaction? Will he fight his loved ones? Will he defend what is righteous?
Will he follow his Dharma (life path)?
In Yoga, we have a series of postures, we call Warriors (Virabhadrasasana). We say they are ‘peaceful’ warriors and when you are in these poses, it can evoke many emotions but often, they bring a sense of grounded strength. Life can feel like a battle at times. We fight for survival and we fight for love. We fight to be heard. We fight to find our voice. We even fight for the ‘best’ place in line at the grocery store or the best parking spot. During this scary time, I found myself in Warrior …moving into the pose without thought. When I was still, I could visualize myself in the pose or the flow of poses I teach so often.
A small lesson from the Bhagavad Gita became clear to me. I must follow my life path and embrace my Dharma. I must leave the old life behind and be The Peaceful Warrior. This doesn’t stop the world from turning in the never ending cycle of births and deaths..love and losses…dark and light…movement and stillness. As long as the breath of life flows in me, I will embody The Peaceful Warrior, my place in the universe.
I’ll close with a poem for my grandson, Samuel:
One Little Boy
One little boy brings a smile to the face of the world
His laughter is the honey of voices carried on bee’s wings
His bright eyes are the clear flowing milk of the sun
We see in his smile, the lotus flower that gently unfolds a thousand petals…a thousand rays of light.. revealing the brilliance of love within us all.
Melting the coldest of hearts and igniting the flame of unity in each soul with his Buddha spirit,
He’s one little boy
And that’s all the world needs to find its soul again.