Sunday, March 15, 2015

Wait and See

This week was once again dedicated to the practice of Brahmacharya.  The most common interpretation of Brahmacharya is abstinence from sex, but last week our teachers asked us to do some more reading on the subject to see if there were other ways we could practice it in our daily lives.

I found a really insightful interpretation of Brahmacharya that focused on the concept of energy.  Not just sexual energy, but all of the energy we put into and take from the universe. The main idea was to look at how you expend your energy and try to focus it on things that serve your higher purpose.

I am not sure exactly what my higher purpose is, but I am dedicated to the process of seeking it. So right now I guess my purpose is to find my higher purpose.

This week I tried to be conscious about the choices I make in terms of how I spend my time and energy. When you look at a typical week, there is only a certain amount of discretionary time.  We have to go to work, eat, sleep and perform a few other basic life tasks. So the question is how we want to spend those precious few hours of time that remain.

In the past, I have tended to be more reactionary in terms of how I spend my time. If someone needs me then of course I go where I am needed. Only when everyone else's needs are accounted for do I actually stop and ask myself what I would like to do with the time that is left.  

Lately I have started to realize that my pattern of reacting to others needs may not be healthy for me. Sometimes I wonder if I have lost myself in the process. Going to this yoga training is something that I am doing just for myself. And I think it is helping me to see more clearly.

I have been chatting a lot with a guy from work. (I often refer to him in my blog as the Elevator Guy because he and I initially met on an elevator.)  We have been flirting back and forth for months, sending e-mails and going out to the occasional lunch. In all of this time, I have never really been able to figure him out.  

Sometimes we even talk about getting together outside of work, but we never actually pursue it. All of a sudden this week he starting putting on the full court press to get me to come over to his place and rent a movie. A few months ago I probably would have jumped at the chance to go over and spend an evening with him. I would have had fantasies in my mind about how this could be the start of the real relationship that I have always wanted.

But something was different this time. Instead of feeling obliged to react to his invitation, I set it aside for a minute and tried to think about how I wanted to spend my energy and how this choice might fit with my higher purpose. I know that one of the things I am seeking is true love. And I am pretty sure that the Elevator Guy is seeking something less than that. 

One of my yoga books gave me some great advice. It suggested that when faced with a decision, stop and ask your inner voice to show you what to do. Even if you are tempted to react and do something, keep waiting and your inner voice will eventually shine through.

So I waited to respond to his invitation. And the next day he started texting me again about how much he wanted me to come over and spend the night with him. Deep down I had doubts about whether I wanted to go.  But I had invested so much time in the relationship. And what if I was wrong about his intentions? I could be throwing away a chance at something great.

We bantered back and forth for awhile and then the words I needed to say just flowed right off my fingertips. I explained to him that my yoga training is helping me to stay on my path and that sleeping over with him would take me off that path.  

Being with him might have been fun for one night (who am I kidding, it definitely would have been fun for one night!)  But my inner voice knows that the awkward feelings I would have had the next day wouldn't be worth it. I am looking for something real and when I do find it, I know that it is going to be worth waiting for.

So in the end I guess I practiced Brahmacharya literally this week as well. If you had any interesting experiences with Brahmacharya this week, I would love to hear from you in the comments section.

Next week we will be practicing Aparigraha, which means to take only what is necessary. This could have a literal interpretation of not wasting resources or being focused too much on material wealth. It also implies that we should not become attached to our feelings and desires. Instead, we should understand that impermanence and change are the only constants in life.

I have already been doing some practice related to non-attachment, especially related to my emotions about my ex-boyfriend. So it should be interesting to see how this practice of Aparigraha unfolds. Once again you are invited to join me in practicing Aparigraha this week.  I will be back next week to let you know the results. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It appears that as you are progressing through the training, you are moving from just doing the exercises to developing a positive state of mind and you are starting to let go of old behaviors.