I read the following in Swami Venkatesananda’s “Insights and Reflections” and it has had such a profound effect on me and the way I deal with situations that “trigger” me:
“When will I not be hurt at all? When I realize that what is hurt is only the ego, my own self image, a shadow which is the product of my own ignorance. This is the fool that is hurt. Yet if I am a real seeker, endeavoring to dispel this shadow of the ego, I should mentally thank that person who pointed out the fool. My goal is to discover the ego and he has made that ego react. Now I can see that reacting ego and deal with it. So if I feel hurt and call myself a spiritual seeker, I’m insincere, I am not honest with myself. Non-violence and the quest for truth are closely related, universal disciplines”
I had hints of this before, but never seen it written so succinctly. It landed like a leaf on my lap.
Since reading it, when I get bunched up about anything said to me, anyone who cuts me off driving, who treats me unfairly, I simply look at myself and find out what was triggered, and endeaver to resolve that internal conflict.
It’s the same with my posture practice.
I’m told by medical professionals that when we are unconscious, our bodies are totally flexible. None of our muscles are tight when we are unconscious. It is when we are conscious that we tighten them.
In other words – my body is totally free, yet sometimes I limit it.
So… When I attempt a pose and find difficulty there – I have a chance to practice! Suddenly my body plays the fool that is hurt. I can thank my muscles and sensations for showing me where I limit myself, where I react. Now I can see that reacting muscle and deal with it.
I can look into the triggers and see whether the danger is real or imagined. I can look to resolve the conflicts and bring my body back to harmony.
This is how I see the yoga practice – being with whatever comes my way such that we become one. Joining together with my experience. Allowing myself to be the experience rather than have the experience happen to me.