15 February, 2015

Disharmony and ignorance

Today was vinyasa with Jodi.

It was a really tough class for me. I don't know why, since I think her classes are supposedly gentler, but they just don't seem it to me. My balance was way off, to the point that it felt like I was taking my first yoga class, and that I didn't even know what Tree is. And since I was in the front row, that even started some of the thoughts creeping into my head about how I must look. I didn't go too far with the thought but it was in there.

At the end of the class, she read something. It was about how all of the disharmony in the world is caused by ignorance. And the specific example was very illustrative, talking about how we might react to being bumped into by someone, and about how that reaction would change if we discovered that the person who bumped us is blind. It was a very literal example, and I started by imagining that situation and I felt a good deal of emotional pain thinking about it. And after class, I took it further, and realized that it was universally true, when taken to an abstract level. If someone treats us poorly, even if it's intentional (from our perspective), there is still this entire level of unknown about that person's life, their past, their day, their problems. We are ignorant of all these things that may be impacting their behavior, and we are presented with this choice of whether to react, or to have compassion. And it doesn't even matter if they're right or wrong. The choice is between harmony and disharmony. When we react, we create more disharmony. And we only get to choose how we act. We do not get to choose how others act.

It's a pretty big thought. It feels like a burden to have that awareness and the responsibility that comes with it.

And when one takes it even further, to understand why we have our own difficulties and failings... example: why I couldn't balance today... I may be ignorant as to why my balance is off, but I still get to choose whether to be mad at my body, or to be compassionate.

It seems like it's ingrained in me to react.

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