Monday February 28, 2022 NYC
Talk at the End of the Asana & Meditation Class
Sunday, February 27, 2022:
Reflecting Daily Life in Practice of Asana:
Practicing to Move Beyond the Mind that Says “I Can’t”
Sometimes we are pushed or challenged in our practice of asana. It’s a good reminder that in asana we are not necessarily trying to always stay the same and practice the asana in the same way, but rather, we are trying to keep progressing more and more.
Sometimes I see in myself and also in the tendency of society the desire or hope to “be enough already” or to “be sufficient already.” This could be with many things. And it may perhaps stem from a focus on achieving results rather than continuously learning and improving. That notion, which can stay somewhat subtly in the background of the mind, can influence us in many ways. Both in practice of asana and in daily life, where we may not push outside of our comfort zone or put ourselves in situations where we are in the seat of a “needing improvement” rather than “the one who already knows, already can do, already is sufficient” etc. And this can cause us to stagnate.
Shri Mahayogi often speaks about the importance of always wanting and working towards “improving oneself.” Whether looking at it from the view of practice of asana or in the way we are in our daily lives, improving oneself seems to require going beyond where we are right now. It is clear in asana when we are pushed a little beyond what we think our limit is, it feels new. Sometimes uncomfortable, sometimes challenging, sometimes making us worry about it and sometimes requiring extra effort and attention. But as we keep trying it, eventually it doesn’t require that effort, it is no longer uncomfortable and it becomes like second nature. Then it’s time to bring a new challenge and push beyond our next perceived limit and keep on going in this way, always seeking to progress forward.
Daily life is the same story. We are faced with new and changing circumstances all the time and as we try to improve ourselves it also requires us to try new things that may not feel comfortable, may not be easy, and may require increased attention and effort. But eventually, those things too, become easier and more as a second nature, and then it’s time to take another step forward. Always continuing.
I am reminded of the words shared by Gopala in this month’s Pranavadipa Testimony (Volume 87), that he gave up allowing himself to say “I can’t.” It’s perhaps a small thing, but how much we may put limits on ourselves, stopping ourselves in our tracks, just with such simple words!
We may never know where we may be led or what we are capable of without shifting away from the thought, “I can’t.”
Anyway, after today’s class, it seems we all have homework to do, some ways that we can push beyond where we are right now. We all, myself included, just have to keep in mind that nothing changes over night, but we are going through a process of improving ourselves and simply need to keep putting our efforts for each new challenge, consistently.
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