1 Relieve suffering
This is the concept at the heart of yoga.
Our brains interpretation of events is what generally causes our suffering. For example this is understood well in regards to physical pain. Pain, which is felt as hurt & causes us suffering, occurs if our brain believes there is danger.
We don’t always have direct control over how our brain works, but yoga provides tools to improve our control. However, yoga is the path of practice; its benefits are gained with work; they can’t simply be given to you.
2 Find balance
Fundamental to our body and minds is “to do”. Fundamental to our spirit is “to be”.
We need to find balance between these.
3 Have faith
How we live our lives reflects the nature of our faith. Rolf Sovik
What is that thing which inspires you to give time, effort, devotion to yoga, work or any other activity? It could be an outer goal, but the most powerful thing is what comes with in your heart – some call this faith.
In yoga, faith is called shraddha, and it is interpreted as the way we direct ourselves towards a deep seated truth within our hearts. Many of us desire inner calmness; living with faith is one way to achieve this. Faith sustains us like a caring mother, we become calmed in its presence.
St Augustine said the final reward of faith is to see what you believe…
When there is nothing else, you can still have faith…
It can keep you alive, as it gives hope and perseverance.
“Through practice we can gain faith, and through faith we can continue to practice.”
4 Say thank you
“Thank you very much I have no complaints what so ever”. This is a mantra on gratitude associated with the Zen Master Sono (who may be real or not).
Mantra can be a powerful tool for transformation, keeping us on track, and picking us up when feeling down. Zen Master Sono’s mantra is an interesting mantra, which at first may feel hard to do, especially if you feel your life is full of complaints. However, it can help us reframe our inner thoughts which may be contributing to our suffering. Science reminds us that our brain has a natural tendency towards negative bias. Mantras like this can be a way of letting go of the inner story and so regain some control.
5 Do action with humility
Humility meaning “the state of being humble”, has 2 interpretations; some say it is derived from the latin word humilis, meaning low, so people assume humility means submission. However it could also come from the word “Humus” meaning earth. This fits much better with Yoga & the Zen concept of humility. The concept of humility is to keep yourself grounded.
To be humble implies you are human, not perfect, and not all knowing. It means you are open; open to learn, open to improve, open to ask others for help, open to listen. Humility makes for great leaders. Humility gives you confidence, as its doesn’t depend upon you being able to do or not do something – you have nothing to prove.
With humility you simply do action with full attention and joy, without worry on the outcome.