Starseed Yoga & Wellness
Jessica 'Sunshine' Klein
"Speaking the truth with kindness, honesty that causes no pain, and reciting of scriptures - this is control of speech."
- The Bhagavad Gita, 17:15
Satya, truthfulness is the second Yama (abstinence) found in Patanjali's Yoga Sutras. It is applied to thought, words and deeds. Truthful motives, truthful intentions and truthful actions. It is seeing and reporting things as they are, instead of how we wish them to be. That means our words should match our thoughts and actions. It begins with the mind. Thoughts become words. Words become actions. Repeated actions become habits. So choose wisely and think with compassion. Stop the negative thinking, the blaming, the strict critiquing of yourself. Be kind; choose compassionate words.
This month we continued our adventure into the yamas and niyamas in the Noon Sunday Level 1 class at Starseed Yoga & Wellness. Truthfulness is a virtue that can be practiced by all people, no matter their religious or spiritual preference. The yamas and niyamas have been compared to The Ten Commandments by scholars and sages. "Thou shall not not bear false witness" (do not lie), "Thou shall not take the Lord's name in vain" (do not use your words for harm). These two are closely related to Satya, truthfulness.
"Sometimes truth isn't good enough, sometimes people deserve more. Sometimes people deserve to have their faith restored." - Batman, The Dark Knight ending lines
To practice the virture of truthfulness it takes patience, clarity and a good memory. Patience to observe the ultimate outcome of all acts. Clarity to make the proper assessments of the outcomes of our actions and words. Good memory is crucial if we wish to have an accuraterecall of lessons learned.
"Even a falsehood is treated as truth if it brings no harm to anyone and some benefit to someone."
"No prestige surpasses the absence of falsehod, all other virtues flow from it effortlessly.
- Thirukkural, Ancient Scripture from South India
Patanjali Yoga Sutra 2.36: To one established in truthfulness, actions and their results become subservient.
If actions and their results do no matter, it infers that the words of truth hold increasing power over the actions. What is said is done. There is no question of uttering anything not to be. Silence is a good friend, it can tell you when it is the end. The end of mental chatter, the end of negative thinking, the release of a characteristic that no longer serves you. Close your eyes, smooth your breath, & open your heart.
"Ask yourself if your desire to act is motivated by an interest in the welfare of others or by a need to vent out frustrations or punish someone with whom we have problems. Motives that are tainted by selfishness obstruct the experience of the Self, by maintaining or strengthening the influence of ignorance over the mind."
- Guruji Sri Reverend Jaganath Carrera
"Listening does not mean analyzing or judging. "Negative" feelings or sensations should not be simply pushed or argued away, but lovingly acknowledged and worked with. In our practice we will often have to patiently address the physical result of incorrect movement, and identify the emotional charge which is at the root of these. We set out to reverse the downward flow of energy by harnessing the motivational force behind all these manifestations and skillfully channel through yoga practice. Remember energy is energy. What you do with it is up to you. The passion behind feelings that drag you down can be equally used to push you up." - Lara Baumann, Quantum Yoga
A few more quotes from the Masters...
"The ultimate intent behind following any virtue is to bring harmony to the individual and to his or her environment. Violence is the ultimate weapon of disharmony. it strengthens ignorance and divides people from each other and their environment. That is the reason that all virtues are tested against ahimsa (non-violence). Therefore, if our words foster a new or deeper harmony (expressing as peace, joy, love, accord, cooperation) with harming anyone, they are words that not only uphold nonviolence, but reflect the intent of all virtues. But as was said before, it is essential to discern if our words and actions are bringing harm or harmony."
- Guruji Sri Reverend Jaganath Carrera, Inside the Yoga Sutras, p. 133
"When you worship, are you making contact with the main battery which is God? Through prayer and devotion you should be in communication with God. You make a connection. Suppose you are a bulb connected to a battery with wire. If there is a loose connection, you won't receive the light. If you are the bulb trying to get light fom the charged battery, or the image of God, your prayer is the connecting wire. If the prayer is a loose connection, you won't get the light. Do you get my point? Many people just utter their prayers, "Oh God, Bless me. Help me. I believe in you with full faith; nobody else can help me." And, at the same time, "Yes, yes Mr. so-and-so, I'll finish my prayer and come soon." They repeat their prayers while their eyes roll around looking at people. "How many people are here? Where is that friend? Did she come?" Of course, that prayer is just lip service. "I am Thine. All is Thine. Let thy will be done." - while one hand is holding the wallet in the pocket. Such prayer has a bad connection. When you pray, you have to forget everything else."
- Sri Swami Satchidananda, To Know Your Self, Prayer, p. 247
"If you want to keep a garden always clean, you will have to remove not only the weeds and thorns and other small plants but also seeds that lie underneath the ground which again germinate during rainy season. Even so, you will have to destroy not only big waves (vritti) but also the samskaras which are seeds for births and deaths, which generate vrittis again and agian, if you want to enter into Samadhi and attain liberation or perfect freedom."
- Sri Swami Sivananada, Concentration and Mediation, p. 120
Those who know do not talk.
Those who talk do not know.
Keep your mouth closed.
Guard your senses.
Mask your brightness.
Be at one with the dust of the earth.
This is primal union.
He who has achieved this state is unconcened with friends and enemies, with good and harm, with honor and disgrace. This, therefore, is the highest state of man.
-Tao te Ching, ch 56, translation by Stephen Mitchell
Fame or Self: which matters more?
Self or Wealth: which is more precious?
Gain or Loss: which is more painful?
He who is attached to things will suffer much.
He who saves will suffer heavy loss.
A contented man is never disappointed.
He who knows when to stop does not find himself in trouble.
He will stay forever safe.
- Tao te Ching, ch 44, translation by Gia-Fu Feng & Jane English
Practice truthfulness daily. A relationship based on truthfulness brings trust. Use a journal to recap the events or thoughts of the day. Perhaps you have a meditation journal, or a dream journal, or maybe its a calorie counter or diet history of the day. As you practice being honest with yourself about small tasks, the larger issues that are clouded with fear become easier to see with a clearer light. Speak less and listen more. Listen with your heart and instead of coming up a with response while someone is speaking, just listen. Maybe even repeat what they say back to them, so they know that you heard and understand their point of view honestly and clearly. Every day, a little practice. Be truthful with others, but most importantly be honest with yourself.
Find rhythm. Share love. Be happy.