12.05.16 Dharma Talk : Focus and Steadiness 

Today is a big day for all of the baby swans.  We have been on this pretty incredible path here at the Mandir learning how to become yoga teachers.

During our training we read the book Journey Home by Radanath Swami, which is - to give a most basic summary a story of a spiritual journey.  Pretty much right away in this narrative Radnath Swami get very pointed that he is trying to connect with God. Personally I was struck by the many moments when Radanath Swami had to choose between what was known and comfortable and something difficult that moved him closer to God.  Basically, time and again he would choose God over easy.  I am not suggesting that choosing God or Grace or what ever your end goal is  - is always hard, but it can be.  In order to decide well, we need to have Focus and steadiness .  By consistantly practicing these things, we ready ourselves to make good choices.

These decisions or forks in the road where one way is towards your goal and the other is just easier, these happen in our lives all the time.  I have a very real goal to realize global liberation of all beings and peace on earth in my lifetime.  But I also want to sit on my sofa with my husband and watch The last man on earth.  One of these things is far easier to do and feels good for a minute and the other is rewarding beyond any measure and is totally necessary. 

As crazy at it sounds, when this moment comes for me to decide to chill on the couch with my boo or to use my time to work on liberation, if I can’t remember my focus, and have no steadiness of mind, I choose the couch.  What a rip off really.

As it turns out, our yoga practice is an excellent place to develop our focus and steadiness.  We do this by accepting the circumstance of our pose, being present, maintaining focus on whatever you have dedicated you practice to, and doing this consistently over and over again to cultivate steadiness.  Eventually that focus and steadiness that we build in our practice, creates a focused and steady mind.  Then we take that focused and steady mind and go out into the world and get awesome with the radical yogi stuff of our choosing.

I say this because it is important.  There is a lot of good to be done and it starts here on your mat.