Tag Archives: oneness

The wavering mind: Arjuna’s doubt

The Bhagavad Gita is a timeless story of the moments before a civil war when the protagonist begins to doubt what he must do. His chariot driver is the beloved god Krishna who, thru his playful spirit is a delight to all.
These doubts of Arjuna are not the doubts of someone just coming to yoga like most of us here in the west as something separate from our culture (or appropriated by it). Arjuna had been trained and lived with the highest masters of yoga his whole life. He was a follower of dharma; an exemplar of moral living. Compared to most of us he’d be a god. When he had to face his family and kinsmen in war; when he had to face some decisive action of magnitude like we all do a various times of our life — you know, those times when we have to make a choice between two (or more) unfavourable action – he cracked; this god of man lost his composure. He doubted everything he knew and felt inside. He doubted his dharma, the whole tide of his life that had brought him to that moment was questioned in every way. He became like a child again. Fearful of making a choice. His mind wavered incessantly. He tried to cling to universal rules instead of following his individual path for dealing with the difficult situation in which he found himself.

He was born a warrior king and knew deep inside what he had to do. As readers, we all knew what had to be done. It’s hard to imagine the kind of disappointment reader would have felt if Arjuna would have dropped his bow and refused to fight. His brothers would most certainly have killed him without ceremony or remorse. The lesson of the Gita would have then perhaps been to follow the rules and do as your told; don’t think for yourself even if you’re faced with tyranny. But Arjuna rose above even the most sacred of the universal laws that states we should not kill our own family and gave us the lesson of looking within and following our own path; that each and every moment and choice is unique and cannot be legislated universally as one set of laws for all times. We cannot discount universal law altogether, but we must know that as individuals, each of us gods unto ourselves, are capable of rising above the universal. In fact, it’s our duty to do so.

Arjuna was in a unique position in that he had a god as a chariot driver and counsellor. It would have been easy for Krishna to just give him a smack and tell him to snap out of it and fight, but he never does this because he knows that it’s up to each of us to decide for ourselves. Krishna merely answers his questions and tells him to choose. Like the sun, he illuminates the way but he does not force anything upon him.

Arjuna is free to choose, just as we are all free to choose. Of course fate and circumstance and our own inner fires often makes choices for us leaving us with but one path to follow; but it’s still up to us to choose that path and often times struggle with the choice even if fate has already decried what is to happen. Unfortunately we cannot stop time as Arjuna and Krishna seem to do in order to make our choices, but the pain of indecision can most certainly be lessened by having faith that our inner chariot driver knows the way.

Never mind oneness, become zero-ness

Sanjay is continually reminding me that the “goal” of yoga is not union with oneness, but rather realizing and maintaining your own zero-ness. Do not seek the spirit beyond your own zero point, nor the material life below that zero point. Gandhi’s zero is different Buddha’s zero is different, Donald Trumps zero point is also different. Donald’s zero and Buddhas zero will never be the same. Your zero will also never be the same as anyone else. Find your own zero and try to stay there.


Compression of Love

Broken hearts and broken dreams
loves lost and loves caused
Suffering and suffering and suffering in the hearts and minds and bodies of all
The pain we feel and the remedies we find
The guilt of happiness and the heroism we feel for all that we know
for all that ties us, one to the other
Our separate lives…. entwined…..burdened by our bonds

How is it that we cannot see that the joys and sufferings of others are really our own?

The expanse of loneliness vs the compression of love

When you love everyone, there is no place for the love of just one

When you feel the joy and suffering all, there is no distinguishing the suffering of one
When all is lost, everything is there to be found
This is the expanse of loneliness and the compression of love