Seek The Truth- -
Growing up, we hear it over and over—tell the truth. Yet it is so easy to build our lives on lies. You might not feel like, or want to admit, that you’re lying, but just ask yourself this: How many times have you told yourself, inwardly, that you’re not good enough? And how many times have you told everyone else that you’re just fine—great, even?
We tell these lies because it’s hard to tell the truth. First and foremost, it requires being vulnerable. It requires coming to terms with how we’re living our lives, recognizing all the ways we aren’t or haven’t been there, the ways we’ve hurt ourselves and others. It takes courage to see the truth of where we are and what we’ve done.
But it takes even more courage to take the next step—to forgive ourselves, and to recognize that it’s never too late to start over. It is only then, when we surrender to and accept our mistakes and imperfections, that we can move forward and begin to live authentically.
Meditation teaches us how to seek the truth on a small scale. Every time we meditate, our thoughts are bound to wander (or even run…) off. But the practice is simply to recognize when that happens and then start again. If we judge ourselves, or tell ourselves we’ll never be able to “get meditation right,” we just stay stuck in thought and anger. On the flip side, if we meditate for five minutes and keep our mind blank, we might feel great—but if we chase that high for the next five minutes, we’re bound to grow disappointed. The goal isn’t to always have a clear mind; the goal is to do our best to come back into presence, again and again, without judgment.
We do the same thing on our yoga mats. Every pose is an opportunity to listen to our bodies and be honest about where we are and how far we can go. But if we compare ourselves to the yogi next to us, beating ourselves up because we can’t lift our leg as high or reach our hands as low, we mentally leave our practice and lose out on what we actually are capable of. Similarly, if we have an established yoga practice and start feeling comfortable in a pose, we tell ourselves we’ve mastered it and move into auto-pilot, losing the opportunity to engage in the true practice, which is to be present with our body and do what it needs, today.
But while we might even go through most of a yoga class in judgment or on auto-pilot, it’s never too late to seek truth in the next pose. Rather than getting frustrated that we weren’t there in the way we wanted to be before, simply say: it’s ok, this is where I am now. Surrender to the truth. Then keep doing it, day after day.
For that’s perhaps the silver lining—that the truth is always there, inside you, and it only takes one moment to let it shine through. After all, as the Buddha taught, “Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon and the truth.”
Ellie Norton is a 2018 Lumi 200-hour Teacher Training graduate and a passionate yogi and writer. You can read more of her reflections on her blog, What I Learned This Week.
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