I’ve had times over the last fortnight when I’ve been overcome with feelings of sadness. I think my mother-in-law’s recent death has precipitated my tears, but then some memories of my parents’ deaths have gotten into the mix. Then just this evening, I heard of a friend’s mother’s passing.
It seems even the weather has joined in with a massive deluge ending a six-week dry spell in Sydney, and in our part of the world – Mitchells Island – six centimetres of rain overnight…and more during the day.
Have you ever had the blues settle in for a spell, like the tropical hot weather of summer, building up its heavy humidity, then bam! a sudden squall?
I’ve wondered how it is that an old yogi like me can be tossed around on a sea of emotions? Aren’t we a breed who are meant to be calm and detached observers?
I had the opportunity to ask the yoga guru, T.K.V. Desikachar, why upsets can happen to sincere yoga practitioners. He said it is a Western problem that relates to ‘the pending file’. He meant that people in the West generally don’t experience their feelings as they arise, so they are shoved into a mental ‘pending file’ to be dealt with later. ‘Later’ can be triggered by an incident or just when we’re quietly practising and there’s the time and sensitivity for experiencing emotions more deeply.
At times like this, I suppose there’s the opportunity to strengthen the Witness. Have the emotions, don’t squash them. They’re just part of what is. I’ve had the experience of compassionately being with feelings and that seems to ease them.
And, isn’t it so, that when the sun eventually comes out again, it shines so radiantly on the landscape it softened?