Love Serve Meditate Realize

Thursday, Jan 08, 2015 A Message from Marydale – January 2015

Greetings and Salutations!

Let us welcome 2015 with open hearts as it presents itself to us with infinite possibilities anchored in Love, Service, Meditation and Realization. As a community, we have been inspired to focus this New Year on upeksha, meaning, in some translations, indifference, but for our practical understanding and ongoing practice we shall embrace the translation of upeksha as equanimity.

Equanimity, according to Wikipedia, is “a state of psychological stability and composure which is undisturbed by experience of, or exposure to, emotions, pain, or other phenomena that may cause one to lose the balance of their mind.” Patanjali wrote in the Yoga Sutras (1:33): By cultivating attitudes of friendliness (maitri) toward the happy, compassion (karuna) for the unhappy, delight (mudita) in the virtuous, and disregard (upekshanam) for the wicked, the mind-stuff retains its undisturbed calmness. This “undisturbed” calmness is equanimity, upeksha, the idea of being in pure awareness. It is a state of even-mindedness, an openness that allows us to respond to any given situation with balance, equipoise, thoughtfulness and detachment. Upeksha is not cold-hearted indifference. Rather, it is a spaciousness within our own hearts and minds toned with respect and honor for all.

Yoga teaches us that there are four basic types of individuals (locks) in the world: the happy (sukha), the unhappy (duhka), the virtuous (punya), and the wicked (apunya). As we move through our everyday lives, we are constantly coming in contact with a broad range of people who are expressing from one of these perspectives. If we are unprepared for their drama, it is likely that we will mindlessly be drawn into their perspective and lose our sense of calm. Note that, in this sutra, Patanjali offers us four practical tools (keys) to assist us immediately as we relate to each of these people. They are:

  1. Friendliness – toward the happy
  2. Compassion – for the unhappy
  3. Delight – in the virtuous
  4. Disregard – toward the wicked

As an important tenet of your yoga practice, upeksha–equanimity–can be one of the results attained through regular dhyana (meditation) practice combined with pranayama (breathing) and asana (postures). As practiced yogis, it is up to us to take heed of the wisdom we know to be true and use the keys we have been given to diffuse chaos while maintaining a state of perpetual inner peace and clam. Join me in this beautiful practice, won’t you? For I know through it you shall be blessed. May 2015 bring great blessings and joy to you and yours!

In Service,

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