by Stacy Kamala Waltman
“Our senses enable us to perceive only a minute portion of the
outside world.” ~ Nicola Tesla
The title of my blog post was Is Yoga a Religion or Cult? The body of the article answered this question yet in the approximately 20 places I posted; only one person actually read the message and responded within the context of the missive.
On the other hand, eleven people replied to the question, Is Yoga a Religion or Cult without reading the content of the blog’s message. Their answers lead the conversation over to their preferred arena; a particular website or educating me about yoga.
While I am always open to new information, it was clear from their remarks that they did not know the extent of my 30+ year yoga training. It was simply an opportunity for them to “teach” and apparently they “needed” to teach. Some call it pontificating, I call it pouncing. The ancient’s called these reactionary tendencies to blindly respond, samskaras.
Samskaras are simply a reaction waiting to happen; an auto-pilot. Samskaras are our tendency to interpret information in a certain way or look at a particular view of the whole while the ego locks on to a small facet and launches a reaction. Unchecked these behavioral loops of bias repeat and behaviors become more entrenched. Oh, and by the way, we all have samskaras and most are hidden from view; blind spots.
Sometimes, after much thrashing about, Stress Management Programs like yoga catch our eye and we begin to consider what it would be like to perceive the world with a new lens and respond in a different, non-habitual way.
Yogic Stress Management tools of cultivating awareness, breathing practices, and self-reflection help us de-magnetize the power of our samskaras/tendencies.
The first step in pulling away from samskaras is gaining awareness of these habitual responses. This in my opinion is nothing short of a miracle. Often people get to this place after they have tried over and over again to see their blind spots but they miss what they can’t see. They are able to consider the edges of their periphery but their blind spots are…blind.
Yogic practices to cultivate awareness include but are not limited to: Meditation,Yoga Nidra, Pranayama, and Life Alignment Coaching. Each of these programs teaches you how to slow down, take pause and become more aware.
When you take a moment to pause and notice the desire to pounce, check in with yourself and ask, “Have I missed, skipped or ignored something?” or “Am I looking at this situation, person or event with fresh new eyes or dull biased ones?” and “It may be or feel unfamiliar, but I am going to do my best to respond differently to this situation, right now.”
Please enjoy one of my favorite quotes:
“Thoughts can create such a barrier that even if you are standing before a beautiful flower, you will not be able to see it. Your eyes are covered with layers of thought. To experience the beauty of the flower you have to be in a state of meditation, not in a state of ‘mentation’. You have to be silent, utterly silent, not even a flicker of thought – and the beauty explodes, reaches to you from all directions. You are drowned in the beauty of a sunrise, of a starry night, of beautiful trees.” ~ Yogic Wisdom
My thanks to the eleven people who “needed” to teach me about yoga as a result of my previous blog. It provided us with a worthy topic for discussion. For those of you who missed the original article, here it is: Is Yoga a Religion or Cult?
Please share your thoughts on this topic. It is so lovely when people respond from their own experience in a conscious way.