Saturday Sep 19, 2020 NYC
Pranavadipa in Action: Reflection from a Reader
The Necessity of Accepting Pain
New York, September 19, 2020
Probably one of the advantages of thinking about and trying to understand the teachings of Yoga is that, in time, and unexpectedly, there will be moments in which our mind will begin to relate what is happening during our everyday lives to one of the teachings of Yoga, and based on that, we might even start asking ourselves if the mind patterns that develop as a result of those experiences are truly who we are.
One of these moments happened in me when all of a sudden, a strong feeling arose within to look into what it is that I really want, and especially, what the reason is for why I’m practicing Yoga.
Right away I recognized that I didn’t have an answer one hundred percent clear in my mind yet, so in that moment the thought that came to my mind was: “I’ll read Pranavadipa”—our monthly online-publication that contains transcripts of Satsangha, meetings with Shri Mahayogi, and Testimonies of practitioners of Yoga. Not too long after I started reading the current issue, Vol. 70, I found a lot of content in it that could help me get closer to the answer I was searching for.
One of the chapters was “Ekagrata—100% Fervor.” Ekagrata means one-pointed concentration. Shri Mahayogi explains that in Yoga one-pointed concentration towards the goal is crucial, and that one of the ways, in which it is created, is by arriving at a point of extreme discomfort as a result of observing and accepting that the world we live in is imperfect, and from here accepting that suffering is unavoidable.
Shri Mahayogi says:
“…by looking at the world and feeling it, the various problems, like the contradiction and the dilemma of an ideal world will come to the surface. These will then connect to that sense of discontent and despair.”
Reading this, I couldn’t help but notice that one of my tendencies is that at times when I find myself in an uncomfortable situation, instead of accepting it as an unavoidable condition that is common to living in this world, I tend to try to escape by using the outside world to create a different condition in order to feel better. It seems that this is because I don’t yet fully accept that the world will always change, and that the source of my suffering is not in the world, but it is in the fact that my mind thinks that the world can provide me with a permanent source of happiness.
Another thing that I’m trying to accept in reading the current issue of Pranavadipa Vol. 70, is that whenever I find myself in the condition of discomfort, especially in those moments when there is no escape and my mind feels trapped, that that is actually a blessing—because it seems that this will create the necessary passion towards focusing more and more intensely on finding the goal and dedicating myself to achieving it.
The first teaching of Buddha is that “Everything is suffering.” Accepting that, because the world is always changing and this change will affect me, is in a way accepting that I’m always bound to suffer. It seems that this will give rise to the urge and the focus to find the condition in which my mind is not bothered anymore by these changes.
I think that in my case, I would have probably never even tried to look objectively at the world if not for the teachings of Yoga. This is one of the reasons I am grateful to have had the opportunity to meet and study the teachings under the guidance of Shri Mahayogi and in the company of his disciples.
Thank you very much again Shri Mahayogi, for blessing us with your presence in this world!