Today I woke up to my fluff-ball of a cat poised on the edge of my bed, attempting to stare me awake.
Seeing me stir, she started to tip toe along the thin border of bed available to her, pacing out her “get out of bed already” message like morse code.
And when I reached over to scratch her ears, she indulged, forgetting for the moment about her need for me to get up.
When I look at animals and the way they take their biological needs in stride, I am often jealous. They seem so straightforward. They seem not to doubt themselves. They seem true.
Then again, I am observing my cats who need only manage relations with each other and us. That’s not exactly a sprawling cat society.
When community evolves as a survival need, “living true” to yourself takes on a whole new complexity. You need to consider the greater good as part of your own well being. While there’s a way to do this and be true to yourself, it’s just not easy to walk that line all the time.
Take my cat again. Sometimes it’s annoying when she wakes me up. But most often, like today, she’s somehow both insistent and patient with me. She’s poised to avoid a potential clash between her needs and mine. She’s learned to appreciate the bigger picture in her life.
In truth, I think it’s just that she doesn’t bother with me until she sees me stirring, but the lesson remains!
There’s a way to live from a place of deep consciousness that respects you as part of the universe. Which means you as part of the earth. You as part of your city, you as part of your community, you as part of your family.
We cannot live true without considering the broader us.
Sutra 4.23 reminds us of this, albeit in a less cheerful way:
Sutra 4.23: The same mind takes on the role of the observer and the very same mind then observes the colouring of the mind which becomes the observed – the subject and the object: it is indeed everything. Hence, the self is but an idea. Translation by Swami Venkatesanada
Sutra 4.23: The mind, being coloured by both the seer and the thing seen, knows all things. Translation by Kofi Busia
Hari om tat sat!
Experience your true self and bring it into every moment of your living!
The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali are a classical text on yoga–a guidebook of sorts.
Each week, 216 teacher Esther Palmer dives into one of the sutras and we let it take us where it takes us.