Welcome to October ! It’s nearly Halloween a time of year where we happily let fake spiders and fluorescent bugs invade our homes !
But what happens when real bugs decide to join in your practice ?
You may be familiar with the moral principle of Ahimsa as embodied by Mahatma Gandhi in his fight for freedom, it is the principle of non-harming (yourself and others). How do we practice Ahimsa in a modern life so far detached from nature ? The answer is in the question, we keep practising...
Picture this : you are in the middle of a lovingly prepared asanas class , everyone is enjoying the flowy sequence.The teacher is introducing the standing postures when out of nowhere right in the middle of the circle of mats a huge spider appears … a couple of people jump off their mats and go and hide behind the pillar, another one screams and runs for the door … the atmosphere is shattered ! Amidst the chaos you remember the teacher just a few minutes ago saying how we are one with the universe and how lovely it is … it may be so but you are totally freaked out by the beast !
The teacher attempts to scare off the beast in the hope that it won’t come back for the remainder of the class. She grabs a block and launches it across the room . The beast jumps about two inches off the ground and remains undeterred on what it rightly believes to be its turf, proof that it had been listening to the earlier cues about grounding down. The screamy student screams again , this time slightly louder … time seems to stand still, you look at the teacher and you can tell she wishes the beast would just disappear of its own accord …
She grabs the notepad and without a second thought she grabs it and squashes the impressive creepy crawly … the room goes silent , people let out a sigh of relief, everyone get back to their mat and we continue our practice whilst the remains of that poor creature lay motionless in the shadow by the wall.
Memories of your granddad walking around the perimeter of his house with a fly swatter squashing bugs for hours come back to you and make you feel slightly less guilty for feeling so relieved . The creature must have had a good life up until then judging by its size and probably spawned several other similarly large beasts … besides it was a pretty quick departure. Talk about being in the moment !
The lesson ends and as everyone is packing up , you cannot help feel that maybe you could have helped to deal with the intruder better, in a different way and maybe next time you will. That animal had the same right to be there as we had, your paths intersected at the wrong time (for the poor spider) and brute force took over.
The concept of Ahimsa comes to your mind...you suddenly realise how much Yoga has actually changed your thought process , just a few months ago you would have given no thought to the act of ending an insect’s life and now here you are conjuring up strategies to deal with the next intrusion.
Time passes unhindered. When we make a mistake we cannot turn the clock back and try again all we can do is use the present well ( Dalai Lama ) .
Thank you for reading
Love and Light