A friend encouraged me to watch The Matrix again, as it was a bit wasted on me when it first came out, I was too young to ‘get it.’ Now I've watched the film again, I’ve been asking friends and family which pill would they take?
It’s easy to bring The Matrix to the teachings of the Buddha; Morpheus helps Neo (an acronym of ‘one’, no coincidence I am sure) to understand that the mind and thoughts make us believe things are real, but through training; Neo and Morpheus’ dojo style, (but for the rest of us it may be through yoga and meditation), we can master our mind.
We can stop identifying with the 'Chitta Vritti' or monkey mind. By listening to our constant chatter from the monkey mind we find ourselves trapped in a fake world, all too frequently of anxiety, stress and much material desire. How do we calm the constant chatter? We need to create a bit of space and stillness. Which is why we start and finish our yoga practice in quiet meditation, just observing the breath as it is, or practicing Pranayama.
‘Satya’ is the second of the five Yamas (restraints) in the Yoga Sutras. Satya is your red pill yogis. It guides us to think, speak and act truthfully. Satya, therefore, is seeing and communicating things as they actually are, not as we wish them to be. This can be quite challenging since we all perceive life through a conditioned mind-set: our thoughts, beliefs, and past experiences shape and colour whatever we see. I’m reminded of Ghandi’s words;
“Your beliefs become your thoughts, Your thoughts become your words, Your words become your actions, Your actions become your habits, Your habits become your values, Your values become your destiny.”
Keep telling yourself you’re too stiff/ old/ unfit for yoga, and that becomes your truth, your destiny. So to the title of this blog, what world are you living in? One where you let your thoughts limit your experiences, or one where you're open to possibilities?
Truthfulness on your yoga mat
One very simple way of observing truth in our practice is by paying closer attention to the breath.
Practicing asana with satya in mind, is not pushing past an injury or ignoring a limitation in order to get into a posture.
Being truthful with your body is taking rest when you need. Speaking your truth with your body, gives others confidence to speak theirs.
Stay open to the present moment, try to just observe judgements ‘oh I don’t like this pose’ rather than identifying with them.