Friday, November 6, 2009

Satya - Truth

This is a good one. Satya is the second Yama. Just how truthful are we in our daily lives? Now if you know yourself to be someone who never lies, then congratulations, you have passed level one in truthfulness. Now you are going to have to look a little deeper to do the level 2 work. A good example comes from yesterday's post about Ahimsa, where I had to determine whether one more interval would be violent to my body or helpful to my fitness. I was tired. I wanted to quit after just four. But I made myself do one more. That is because I dealt with the truth of the situation -- I wasn't at all on the verge of injury, I was just wimping out. Whether I did the extra interval or not hardly mattered: what mattered was that I was at least truthful to myself about why I did or did not do it.
That is an example of both ahimsa and satya at work together. I love when this happens! The Yamas are always reinforcing each other.
Here is another example: two adult sisters are expecting a visit from their elderly parents. One sister is jealous that the parents have chosen to stay at the other sister's house during their visit. The jealous sister says, "why do they always stay with you when they visit?". The other sister replies, "Because I invite them!" So what is going on here? This is a classic example of feeling sorry for ourselves because it seems someone else always has the luck. Dig a little deeper and we realize that what appears as luck on the surface is really just a consequence of a particular action (Ah, Karma!). Had Jealous Sister extended an invitation, the parents might actually have stayed at her house during their visit. This is really a tough one. It is much easier to believe that others have all the luck than to try to figure out what we may have done or not done to deserve our lot in life. Now this is really Yoga - if we want to improve our lot, we are going to have to do the work (sort of like running the intervals!) to figure out which actions we can take, or eliminate, in order to change an outcome. That requires Truth. Satya.

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