Acceptance arises when we are free from craving. (1:15)
Supreme acceptance leads to understanding our true self and occurs when we allow for the changing nature of life. (1:16)
Gosh, these two Sutras hit home for me. Vairagya translates to dispassion. The word, dispassion, sounds kind of ugly. No one wants to be dispassionate. However, what it means before translation is more like acceptance or non-attachment. Not getting hung up on could have beens, or cravings.
Cravings can come in many different forms. When practicing Vairagya, we are not craving physically, mentally, or emotionally. We are not craving for food, drink, sex, clothing, any other material needs or pleasures. We are not wanting things to be different than they are right now. What we are and where we are right now is enough.
When we can accept where we are, right now, we are not drawn into the ever-changing world around us that creates an abyss of want, need, and never enough. There are three types of energies. One is very energetic and dynamic. The second is heavy. The third is balanced and harmonious.
When we let go of expectations and live mindfully in the present moment, accepting who we are and where we are, we have balance and harmony. Our body, mind, and soul are open to the present moment and we can fully take in and appreciate what life is giving.
You may or may not know that I have arthritis in my left hip and both knees. The journey I have been on since my diagnosis has been tremendous. Living these Sutras has been invaluable to me. Accepting where I am in life, with my degenerative condition, as well as where I am each day, helps me to keep going. Living with arthritis means that some days I feel great and some days my joints lock up and I am stiff and hurting. Not getting upset or angry when that happens has made a huge impact on how long I stay in pain. Knowing that this condition ebbs and flows has given me an opportunity to live mindfully and accept where I am. It has also driven me to learn more about therapeutic applications of yoga in order to help others achieve this peaceful and balanced way to approach this chronic condition.
I don’t feel sorry for myself. I don’t wish my body was different, stronger, or that my joints were healthier. I am grateful for what I am able to do each and every day that I wake. I keep God as my focus in the center of everything and I accept that each day will be different. I honor my body with more gentle exercise, restorative postures, or even rest when needed. And, I feel wonderful that I am able to give myself these gifts.
I went down a bit of a rabbit trail, but I told you, this one hit home for me! I will leave you with a quote that I shared in class just this morning. It fits beautifully.
It is a beautiful experience being with ourselves at a level of complete acceptance. When that begins to happen, when you give up resistance and needing to be perfect, a peace will come over you as you have never known.Ruth Fishel