Greetings on a crisp late autumn night. I have been breathing in the Northwest clean air, and witnessing the beauty of the Nooksack River as spawning ground of the wondrous, wild salmon, blessed to visit them daily at the moment. I am especially touched by “home,”  as I prepare to leave for India in just a couple of weeks! I am sending this email to invite you to the final class of the autumn Deepening Yoga series on saturday, December 8th at 8Petals, from 3pm to 5:30 pm; we will share our reflections in community circle on Sutra 1-33, that reminds us that tranquility and an inner state of yoga emerges through compassionate conduct in our relationships. We will also practice a bit of restorative yoga, pranayama and meditation together, sharing inner nourishment in silence and in community. The tuition is $20 to $30 sliding fee scale, and I am always open to trade if financial assistance is needed. Please let me know if you will be joining the circle on the 8th!

I include here the sutra 1-33 itself, and a blog entry I wrote a while back reflecting on one element of the sutra.

Sutra I-33   A clear and tranquil mind results from cultivating friendliness towards those who are happy, compassion towards those who suffer, joy towards the virtuous, and impartiality twoards wrong-doers.

 

 

Is it possible to align ourselves with what we find to be true and good without “condemnation”? Does condemnation have its place? To condemn, according to the dictionary I consulted, is “to declare to be reprehensible, wrong or evil, usually after weighing evidence and without reservation.” I know there are situations in close proximity, and afar, actions by individuals and collectives, and by formal governing bodies which I would easily judge and perhaps in my mind “condemn.” Does this Sutra tell me to follow an alternate course of action? I know it does not CONDEMN me for my impulse to judge!

When we judge, and we condemn we create separation, and ultimately yoga is a practice of union, of love, of communion. And yet we live in a world where at least for most of us, there is much to speak out against, and attempt to rectify, each of us having our small say, our one drop impact in the giant ocean of the world.

I myself will continue to make my attempts to align with what I perceive as justice and compassion, while trying to hold a larger view of imagining that Marshall Rosenberg is right in suggesting that any behavior we find reprehensible in another,  somehow tragically expresses an unmet need. I will hold the possibility of there being a larger picture, and elements of mystery beyond my individual understanding. While attempting to align myself with love, justice and kindness I will continue to wrestle with what is asked for in this Sutra as I try to comprehend impartiality as a way of nonjudging that still allows for me to stand up for what calls to me as fair and “right” on the world stage, whether it is in my small, immediate world, or in another country.

And I know my yoga practice helps me to maintain faith and peace within as I observe the world inside and around me.