Sunday, June 26, 2011

A New Serenity Prayer

I recently wrote and spoke in class about a meditation experience that awakened in me a realization of the need to change.  So it was interesting that this morning while looking through an old journal, I stumbled upon something I had jotted down a while back and it made me smile at how the universe delivers the "teachers" we need at exactly the right time.

Here's what I found:

"God grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change, the courage to change the one I can, and the wisdom to know it's me." (author unknown)

Although we sometimes crave change and we sometimes dread it, we cannot escape it.  All we can do is keep working toward a quieter mind and have the courage to take responsibility of the quality of our actions and attitudes that surround the changes that appear.

From the same journal entry:
"Change is not a direct or even indirect consequence of yoga or any other practice.  We cannot depend on it.  What we can count on gaining from our yoga practice is a quieter mind - somehow the heaviness, jumpiness and worry vanish.  Yet something very personal and essential has to happen for us at the right time, and it has to touch us so deeply that we suddenly really want to pause, consider, and change the course of our actions.  After this happens we simply go forward step-by-step.  The quality of our action begins to change.  The new positive conditioning becomes stronger and our mind remains clear.
If real clarity is present, we experience quietness and peace within us.  If there is only intellectual clarity, we may be happy for a moment or two, but this feeling will not last.
Our aim in yoga is to bring about a change in the quality of the mind so that we can perceive more from the consciousness.  Yoga attempts to influence the mind in such a way that it is impossible for our consciousness to operate without hindrances." 

The above passage was scrawled in my journal without reference to where it came from (note to self: I really need to change my messy note taking habits!).  I'm fairly certain it came from The Heart of Yoga by T.K.V. Desikachar, but nonetheless it's a beautiful illustration of what the practice of yoga can do to awaken a more conscious way of living.

Ultimately what matters most isn't what others see in you, it's what you see in yourself.  The power to make changes comes from within.  Self-observation, focus, willpower, strength, wisdom, faith - they give you the power to change.

Until next time...

WELCOME CHANGE by Sri Chinmoy   
Don't resist;  
Be flexible.  
Don't be rigid; 
Be supple.  
Welcome change! 
Each change  
Is an illumining opportunity 
To knock at the door  
Of fulfilling progress sweet.~

Change yourself slowly   
And cheerfully.  
Conditions will change immediately 
And unimaginably.~

The mind thinks  
That any change 
Is painful.  
The heart feels 
That any change 
Is powerful.~

Change your attitude!   
Look what stands before you: 

Change your mind 
If you do not want anybody 
To bind your life.~

Not because you are clothed 
In a frail body,  
But because of your stubborn
Unwillingness to change, 
Your life is a misery-haunted house.

The entire world may not change. 
The entire world cannot change. 
The entire world even will not change. 
But your tiny world you can and will change 
forever at this very moment with the help of your 

Today's Strengthening Flow playlist:
Timshel-Mumford and Sons
Drops In The River-Fleet Foxes
Change-Blind Melon
All These Things That I've Done-The Killers
She's Only Happy In The Sun-Ben Harper And The Blind Boys of Alabama
Dust In The Wind-Daughter Darling
Acid Tongue-Jenny Lewis
The Greatest Sum-The Avett Brothers
To Let Myself Go-Ane Brun
Journey Through The Past-James Mercer
Dust In The Wind-Fred Benedetti
Changes-Seu Jorge
Innocent Son-Fleet Foxes
Those To Come-The Shins
Remembrance-Benjy Wertheimer

1 comment:

  1. You are always inspirational. Sometimes I don't get to say thank you at the end of a class, so I'm saying thank you now for all those wonderful classes and for your very existence, my dear. Do you know the Tolstoy quotation, my favorite: "Add your light to the sum of light?" This is what you do and what you inspire in your students, Bless you!