“The seeker after truth should be humbler than the dust. The world crushes the dust under its feet, but the seeker after truth should so humble himself that even the dust could crush him. Only then, and not till then, will he have a glimpse of truth.” - Gandhi
I asked my mentor about what to put in the Sadhana folder since the practice is mostly self directed. A single review of it all was a suggestion and I felt that this was appropriate. It takes me a while to process things and even longer to respond to things yet I believe it shows that the process hasn’t left my mind when I start to put things into words. It’s ever at work, even when it's not at the forefront of activity.
I knew from the beginning of quarter one that my yama for the quarter would be satya. Just like love has different connotations, so does truth. Truth for satya is similar to what agape means for love. There is no object of love in agape aside from the love of God and/or the love of all beings. Similarly there is no object of truth in satya aside from living with truth as a guide. Thinking of truth reminds me of truth-seekers such as Gandhi who devoted their lives to promoting this particular yama, along with ahimsa during a period of great social strife.
I can’t confidently say the world of today is any different than it was during the plights of the 20th century. The world still has need for what Gandhi referred to as satyagrahis, beings who are on a “relentless search for truth and a determination to search truth.” That’s a bigger cross to bear than one may realize because there are so many opportunities to ignore it, live without it, or completely lie to ourselves about it. One reason is because we may think the truth is relative. The more I connect with other people and the broader these connections become the more I believe truth isn’t relative. It’s actually something all beings share but what of course it's not so easy to discern. This is what I think a regular sadhana is important to me.
The ritual of repeating practices aimed at befriending the body bleed into the other elements of PRYT including truth, truth in action, and flow. Since I modified my sadhana to reflect the requests of the PRYT manual (including visiting child’s posture, cobra, half locust, and full locust) I’ve noticed my Self shift in many ways. Perhaps this was also from the work I’ve done with clients but everything came full circle when I was permitted to be with my Self in order to observe how things have changed. At first I noticed frustration with myself and my limitations. Soon after frustrations passed I noticed stillness. Not long after that I noticed presence and it wasn’t much longer after that where I started being honest with my Self. This translated into me being more honest about my Self with others when before I often kept my truth to myself so as to not create friction between my Self and anything else.
My realizations and awareness eventually led to actions and now my life has changed quite a bit since we parted ways at the end of Orientation. Some parts of it are challenging but they’re challenges I willfully embrace because they’re part of me living my truth. With the changes I’ve observed myself feeling things intensely again. Sometimes it’s feelings of joy and purpose and other times there are feelings of sadness and worry. The thing is though that these feelings feel as though they come from a more organic place. Like a snake shedding its skin, I feel larger with each layer shed. The skins left behind are remnants of the feelings linked to my Self at certain periods, like historical markers of different time periods. What remains and keeps on its way is the snake itself, my Self. I can’t lose sight of this one for the skins. This is my truth going on with or without me and my sadhana keeps me still enough to see the life of truth.
A lot of this sounds to me like the beginnings of pride, which is a good feeling to have at times. Yet, circling back to the quote at the beginning, living my truth isn’t something about stomping around and asserting my individuality. It’s about ease in being and allowing my Self to be so humble and so still that I could provide a ground for the “dust” itself. This to me is what holding space and facilitating a container filled with unconditional positive regard is all about. Such will can only be found in adhering to a truth that is unshakeable, meaning it's a truth that we all share and exists as an anchor for each and every living being.
I have a strong feeling quarter two will involve more satya and possibly ahimsa.