Compassion course: week 6

Wow, summer is flying by! This is the fifth installment of a weekly svadjaja (self study) series that I’m doing to reflect on the Non-Violent Communication course that I’m taking with NYCNVC. I’m jotting down how the course changes my day-to-day life, and take away from each week’s lesson. Check out last week’s post on anxiety!

As I get deeper into building my compassion “muscles”, I’m beginning to realize that the learning won’t be over after this one-year course is over. Rather, I’m just scratching the surface of exercising this new skill, and it will take practice (just like everything else, huh) to incorporate it into the natural rhythms of my life.

The past week really zipped by with moving out of our apartment, M getting a contract job, and moving our few possessions into storage. Lots of travel and beginning to say “see ya later” to friends. We’re officially nomads now!

Over the next two weeks, I am staying with good friends of mine, the owners of Living Yoga Center, the studio where I teach yoga. In addition to their warmth and generosity (they’ve even let me use a car for getting to work), I’ve felt a natural connection to their openness and their stories from their own life experiences. Jai!

This week’s practice was about noticing hidden judgements that we make towards ourselves or others. That means noticing those judgements that are disguised as feelings.

I noticed that as I become more aware of judging vs feeling, I am noticing judging in others more clearly. In fact, I’ve been judging others for judging! Is that progress?

That’s where I think of the yogic concept of non-attachment. Through the eyes of non-attachment, judgement is a comparison of my expectation with reality. When those don’t match up, AND when I’m attached to my expectations, that’s when I judge. So if I let go of my expectations, I’m much less likely to judge.

Aha! So while I’m not going to transcend judging anytime soon, I can recognize the expectation I had that caused the judgement and let it go. Then the judgement dissolves too.

That’s my samadhi (enlightened) moment this week. Till next time!

 

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Are you attached to your yoga practice?

A few days ago I was working on my asana flashcards for yoga teacher training, and I realized it was almost time for meditation class. I was in a good work flow: I was feeling the music, knocking out the flashcards and feeling accomplished. But I felt the obligation of meditation pulling me. I didn’t want to go. But I felt guilty for not wanting to go.

Meditation is good for you. Asana practice is good for you. More of a good thing is always better, right?

I realized that I was feeling attached to my yoga practice. I was attached to the idea that more yoga would make me a better yogi. And that didn’t feel right. So I thought about it and realized…Saying no to asana or meditation is yoga too! Because yoga is about balance, self-awareness, and vairagya (non-attachment). Rather than following a set routine no matter what my situation or condition is, changing the routine based on what’s going on today allows me to live my life more fully and more true to myself.

So I skipped meditation practice that day, and enjoyed accomplishing my task at hand. No regrets 🙂