I am obsessed with the second yoga sutra, loosely translated as “yoga helps to still the mind” (or, “yoga is to sill the patterning of consciousness” by Chip Hartranft). Freedom from suffering is the great promise. Hartranft explains that this is the origin of yoga practice, or “yoking” the mind: stilling the mind requires intensive practice and work to stop its incessant chattering. As I get older, the search for peace of mind – samadhi in yoga jargon – takes precedence over the concerns of youth.
So the other day I ran into a guy I used to work closely with. Straight laced, Italian-American, quiet, traditional and conservative. He would make the traditional Italian seafood dinner on Christmas eve. Home every night. Very old timey.
But on the wall of his office was a calendar with a picture of Shiva on it! Got to talking, his new office buddy is a Hindu who has gradually introduced him to some of the more spiritual aspects of the religion, albeit for an American audience: quiet time, meditative music, he’s even thinking of taking a yoga class. My straight laced friend, meditating!
Now, we’re both in our high 40’s, age-wise, and we’re getting to the point where we’re looking for something more to life than just work and paying bills. Anyway, it was neat to see that even the most unlikely person can begin the search for calmness and peace with their life.
On the way out of his office he handed me – the yoga teacher – a CD of Hindu music!