Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Keeping an Untroubled Spirit

equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius, Capitoli...Image via Wikipedia

The first rule is to keep an untroubled spirit. The second is to look things in the face and know them for what they are.

– Marcus Aurelius

I love this quote because it so simply sums up the philosophy of yoga. First, we must calm the mind, then we can reflect clearly on what really is, seperate from the illusion and ignorance of avidya. But, as always, easier said, than done.

Two things that help me to keep an "untroubled spirit" when I find myself getting caught up in the illusionary drama of a situation.

1. I sit down and breathe a 5/5 ratio 5x (5 breath cycles of an inhale with a count of five and an exhale with a count of five.) If that doesn't work, I do five more rounds...and then another...another, and so on.

2. I think of 5 things that I am grateful for right now at this moment in my life and I think of  five things that are going right. (These could be big or small. Sometimes it might be just being grateful that I am not out of milk for my morning coffee, or happiness that I am doing a better job flossing my teeth at night. I am not being cute here. When the chips are down it is important to remember that there are always some small, wonderful things going right and to be grateful for. We need to start there.

Please leave some comments and share some ways that you keep an "untroubled spirit" and a clear view of things as they are.
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Sarah said...

Many, many deep breaths and then I think about the issue at hand from a different perspective. It calms my brain and helps me see others' point of view.

darcie said...

We all need to stop and remember the little things - that aren't so little to so many folks who are *really* struggling right now - thank you for the reminder!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this. I am going to try it.

Jan said...

In a post that will come up tomorrow on my blog, I have linked your blog under the topic of "Gratitude."

Kate said...

I think about things in terms of their real importance in my life. For instance, is this thing that's stressing me out really just a temporary inconvenience? Is someone going to get hurt or die or lose their job? The answer is usually "no".

Nona said...

Beautiful post! I just stumbled on your blog and I am so happy I did - I am a Kripalu instructor as well and also a gratitude junkie! :) I breathe, write, and then shift perspective. Gratitude is a beautiful practice! So glad you are here!

Christine said...

Thank you for this post! I have been trying to keep an untroubled spirit lately, and I need a plan. Grateful was the word on my blog today, and I found you by typing in "grateful blogs". Much thanks and gratitude to you from a fellow RYT! :-)