The Gift of Life

Mar 1, 2013 | Wisdom, Yoga practices, Yoga Sutras of Patanjali | 0 comments

- the gift of life

Do you consider life a gift? I know people for whom life is hard, and, regarding such a gift, they might say, ‘Aw, you shouldn’t have.’ I’ve felt like that at times, but fortunately I don’t now.
Still, what’s a life for? I’m not knowledgable in Buddhism, but I believe that those who follow it use the expression, ‘this is the life that you took birth for.’ That seems to imply that there is some purpose for each of us being on the planet.
It wouldn’t come as any surprise to you that I think of the teaching of yoga as my purpose. Yoga is a huge subject with many levels so I will have plenty to challenge me for as many years as I’m blessed with.
At the moment, my challenge is the old sage, Patanjali, as I’m leading a weekly study group on the Sutra. I’ve prepared my notes for tomorrow’s session which includes the yama and niyama – the yoga code of ethics. One of the most important of these concepts is tapas (and, no, it’s not a type of Spanish cuisine) – meaning discipline.
Usually we think of discipline as hard work involving will power, maybe sweat, late nights and/or early mornings. It may be that it is the necessary ingredient for achieving our purpose in life.
Here’s Pema Chodron, Buddhist Abbot, with her spin on where discipline is best placed:

What we are disciplining is any form of potential escape from reality.

How many of us are brave enough to face up to anything and everything in our lives? I’m still working on it. In this domain, I’m as much a student as teacher.


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