Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The second Yama: Satya (Truth)

Here is an affirmation to focus on Patanjali's second yama from the eight limbs of yoga: 

"I live in truth.  I speak the truth to myself and to others (when appropriate).  When offering my truth in the form of feedback I am sensitive to the feelings of others; I speak in the spirit of love.  I also take responsibility for my actions.  I do not blame anyone for my experience; I honestly see my own part in every situation."

When practicing the second Yama, we need to remember the first:  Ahimsa (non-violence/compassion).  If we speak our truth in a way that is mean, we are not making our best efforts on the path.  So we need to find a way for Satya and Ahimsa to coexist.  Let us be reminded of the affirmation for Ahimsa:

"My thoughts and actions are focused on loving awareness.  I nurture and cherish myself and others.  I am aware that the mind sometimes entertains thoughts of fear, anger, or selfishness but I do not get caught in these thoughts or act upon them.  I accept without judgement any uncomfortable mental states.  I release them and return to gently, non-violent expression of my energy."

When we want to speak, we can consider the following sentiments before we do:

"Is it true?  Is it kind?  Is it necessary?"   -- Sufi saying

"Most people will not remember what you said or what you did.  But they will remember how you made them feel."   -- Maya Angelou

"If in doubt whether to observe Ahimsa or Satya, always go with Ahimsa."   --Swami Vivekananda

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