A Sutra a Day: IV-20 – Finding Serenity Against the Odds

Feb 3, 2013 | Being a writer, Healing, Philosophy, Wisdom, XSutras, Yoga practices, Yoga Sutras of Patanjali | 0 comments

Do you keep diaries? I did for many years. I filled up many of those blank page books; they were like my portable and private therapists, a written record of ruminations and attempts to sort feelings. I suppose you could say blogging is a modern day, more focussed way of diarising.
I came across one of my old books by accident today. (I burned a lot of the old diaries because I sorely needed to move on from past traumas.) This particular book is special. It chronicles the two month period that I spent with my sister Sue not long before she died of lung cancer.
I knew that after being with her and her family at such a difficult time that something  in me shifted permanently, and I can see in my writing exactly when it happened.
It was when I woke up on the morning that Sue was to start her first of a series of chemotherapy treatments. She was already awake and in a state of high anxiety. Could you blame her? I realised then that the best way I could support her was not trying to cheer her up and not to be solicitous but just to be.
It looks so ordinary as I write it: ‘just to be’. Nevertheless, it enabled me to spend time with Sue and not impose my will on her. As a result, she could relax in my company and feel safe in a way we’d never before experienced in our 50-year sisterhood. And, in return I learned the value of acceptance and having no agenda.  I learned to be with someone I loved, practising non-projection, accepting that this was her life, even in death.

Ekasamaye cobhayanavadharanam

Consciousness cannot comprehend both the Seer and itself at the same time.*
*Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, translation and commentary by B.K.S. Iyengar.


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