I’ll let you in on a secret. I love dogs. For the first half of my life, I always had dogs as pets, sometimes litters of them. I can hardly walk past a dog on the street or on the beach without stopping to have a little pat and hello.
Now I live on four acres in the country and I don’t have a dog, not because I don’t want one, but because I travel often and I don’t think it’s fair to a canine to leave him in the kennel. Perhaps when my circumstances change, I’ll change my mind. For now, though, let’s just say I’m attracted to dogs but I’m not acting on that attraction.
Vyn Bailey in Patanjali’s Meditation Yoga tells a good story:
A monk was taken by friends to dine at a popular restaurant. Waiting for service he was observed casting approving glances at the many attractive women who were there. When his host chided him gently for this un-monkish interest he replied, ‘Not at all. I may be on a diet but I’m still permitted to read the menu.’
When attraction heats up to the boiling point where it must be acted on, we call this desire or raga. Taken to its extreme, desire turns into addiction.
Still, we need to be compassionate with ourselves and others because we all tend to get attached to objects, people, possessions, animals and the rest. We are all just human.
Excessive attachment is based on the assumption that it will contribute to everlasting happiness.*
*Patanjali’s Yogasutras, translation and commentary by T.K.V. Desikachar.
Cats Love Halasana
Do you sometimes feel that someone gets you so thoroughly that it makes you get that funny choking feeling in your throat for a moment? I don’t always circulate my “Yoga Suits Her” email but I couldn’t resist this one….
Hello dear Eve,
As ALWAYS, your post made me smile and provided a wonderful bit of warmth to my morning.
Damn, I love you!!!
The yoga sutra project is such a major undertaking. I always picture you at your screen, working out the sutra and then working out how you will map your life against it THIS time. And then saying, what the hell, and throwing who you really are at it. You are so bold and beautiful
I'm Eve Grzybowski. After teaching yoga in Sydney for nearly 30 years, I moved to the country where I live in a small community. Instead of practising yoga in a swish city studio, I now practice in the Yoga Shed in a pastoral setting. This blog is about all-things-yoga, especially how practising yoga is woven into the fabric of my rural life.