Live The Truth, Tell The Truth, Be The Truth
Surrendering to truth can be a daunting task, especially where one has experienced hardship in life, but the type of surrender that Patanjali offers will lead one to a place of equanimity, contentment and peace of mind.
The mind is a fickle thing. It is quick to judge, it clouds the perception, it categorizes other people’s actions and stories to fit in neatly with what you have experienced and then places a good/bad label on the action, the story, the person, the race, or the country.
How does it feel to be the recipient of judgment? We’ve all been in that situation at least once.
In Patanjali’s book of Yoga Sutra’s, are the Eight Limbs of Ashtanga Yoga. These eight limbs describe how to live in peace, how to unveil the true Self and how to eliminate fear, disconnection and suffering. Truth or Satya, under the first of the eight limbs (the 2nd Yama) means honesty and sincerity. It is to live a life of authenticity, compassion and virtue. Have you ever found yourself involved in gossip, accusation or blaming? Is there ever a twinge of guilt, shame or remorse afterward?
Non-truth damages the other, and it also damages the Self. Judgment is never seen with clarity, and leaves one with a nasty feeling of disassociation. Faulty perception leads to turmoil during an emotional time of conflict. The mind is capable of defending something known to be wrong, but it can justify that wrong if we want to win bad enough. Winning in that way, as we’ve probably all discovered, is only a veil over the greater loss.
Satya or truth, is what is left over when the mind is put aside.
This is not as difficult as it might seem. The mind can be lost when one is digging in the garden in the sunshine, or working on that old Chevy in the garage, or putting together a model airplane as part of your collection, or painting out in the forest.
The mind can be put aside during yoga and meditation practice. A little practice every day leads to greater awareness of truth. All it takes is to remain quiet and still, observing mind’s activity but not subscribing to it, by gently moving the thoughts of the mind aside while connecting to the spark that animates every living thing.
Surrendering to the truth is to ‘let go’ of the disorder of the mind; to let go of automatic judgment, misconception, the distortion of the truth, and to let go of fear.
To be watchful, thoughtful and grounded in truth dispels fear and eliminates individual suffering. This we practice in yoga.
In my classes we practice this with eyes closed, with blankets, with gentle music or chanting, and with internal inquiry. Ultimately we feel wholly connected with all that exists.
When one lives in truth, one will only accept truth. Sometimes this means that dysfunctional friendships may drift away, or maybe friendships will strengthen as both parties grow and encompass Satya. What we do know is that Satya, or truth is always with us, it is the core of our being, the seed of the universe from which we came.
It is up to each individual in their own time, to uncover this great state of being; to live the truth, to tell the truth and to be the truth.
Heather Johnston is a Registered Dental Hygienist and Certified Yoga Instructor. She enjoys all aspects of health, is fascinated with anatomy and evolution, and is always looking for ways to strengthen the body and mind.
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