Monday, March 28, 2016

Yamas & Niyamas - YTT Week 9 (Makeup)

I was gone from YTT on Wednesday, March 16th (we just got home from the beach) so I missed an interesting lecture by Heidi on the Yamas and Niyamas.  (Here is an article about them if you don't know what they are.)  It was an interesting lecture that really made me consider myself, my actions, my words, my thoughts and my whole being really.  I love these and hope to learn to live by them more and more, as this journey of mine goes on.

These yamas and niyamas are defined as "the right conduct towards others and oneself."  They guide you into a complete transformation of student into peaceful, harmonized being.  Frees us from our limitations.  They are also meant to go together and build on one another.  They allow us to reflect on our lives with compassionate eyes.  "Perfect as you are, perfect as you are not."  Not meant to be commandments but instead about guidance and suggestions for living.

The 5 yamas are:

Ahimsa is a code of moral conduct in which all of the yamas rest.  Compassion, kindness and tolerance.  Thinking of ways to be more loving towards yourself and others.  Realizing through your thoughts and energy what you produce around you.  Do your best, rise above, move beyond.

Satya is be truthful to yourself in thoughts and reality.  Clarity.  Our behavior reflects this truth.  Four gates of speech:  Is it kind, true, necessary and timely?  Telling someone exactly what you want.  Integrity and thoughts, and your energy behind them.  What are the universal truths?  Conscious, mindful communication.

Asteya is being free from illusion of ownership/envy/jealousy.  Generosity and honesty.  Delight in the successes of others, don't steal time (don't be late), take credit for things you've done, give credit when something isn't yours.  Are you blessed with abundance?  How do you honor what belongs to others?

Brahmacharya is everything in moderation or balance.  Regulating your senses, avoiding self-indulgence.  Living a well-balanced, mindful, moderate life.  Are you obsessive in any part of you life?  In excess of somethng?

Aparigraha is non attachment, fulfillment.  What does it mean, when we let go of our attachments?  Can we expand beyond them?  Living simply, enjoy material things but be able to let go at a moment's notice.  "Little is required for happiness."  Also applies to attachments of expectations - be flexible in your heart and mind, go with the flow.  "The more stuff we accumulate, the more time we spend attending to it."  "Look at everything you own and ask if it owns you."  Speak appreciation and blessings, let go of attachment.

The 5 niyamas are:
Ishvara Pranidhana

Saucha is cleanliness/purity.  Constant upkeep of your body and emotions.  Outpouring of love, purify your motives, take action and let go.  "The state of body affects the mind, cleansing the body cleanses the mind."  Coming clean, discover your genuine authenticity.  Lighten up.

Santosha is being at peace with oneself or others.  Accept balance, peace and joy.  Make the best of any situation, unwavering serenity.  "Gratefulness creates inner happiness."

Tapas is discipline, and igniting the purifying flame inside.  "Do for the body what you know will be good for it."  Pause before you react, breath, pause.  Important in getting rid of old habits, stagnation.  Practicing positive change.

Svadhyaya is understanding the total functioning of the human from skin to core.  Who am I?  What is my purpose?  Self study - Why are we here?  What is it all about?  Am I aware of my actions as they are happening?  Personal responsibility for your actions, reflect on them later.  Is how others perceive you how you really are?

Ishvara Pranidhana is the energy of universal wisdom/truth.  Faith in higher knowledge, whatever that is to you.  Personal and religious beliefs.

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