The Buddhas do but tell the way, it is for you to labor at the task.

 -The Buddha

Spiritual teachers are like signposts pointing the way to immortality, but it is we who must make the journey. This is quite reasonable. After all, when we pass a signpost on the freeway, we don’t expect it to get into the driver’s seat and do the driving while we lie down in the back to take a nap. On the first half of the spiritual journey, we cannot expect other people to pick us up and carry us along. It is up to us to meditate regularly, and practice the allied disciplines.

Sri Ramakrishna says that the first part of the trip is the “way of the monkey.” The little baby monkey has to hold on for dear life while his mother swings from tree to tree. If the little one loses his grip, he’ll fall and hurt himself. But the second half is the “way of the cat.” The little kitten just sits there on the road looking cute and helpless, saying, “mew, mew, mew,” and the mother cat picks it up by the scruff of its neck and takes it to safety. It is only on the second half of the journey that we are carried by a power higher than ourselves.

Words to Live By: Inspiration for Every Day – Eknath Easwaran

The homework is to consider the fourth niyama, Svadhyaya, which is found in verse II.44 of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. Sva means self and adhyaya means study or education. Education is the drawing out of the best that is within a person. Svadhyaya, therefore is the education of the self.  The person practicing svadhyaya reads her own book of life, at the same time she writes and revises it. Consider where you are at on your own path and work to refine your personal process of connecting to your journey.

References:

Light on Yoga and Light on the Yoga Sutras, by BKS Iyengar and The Essence of Yoga: Reflections on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali by Bernard Bouanchaud

Rushing Water Yoga, 417 NE Birch St., Camas, WA  98607, 360.834.5994

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