Podcast #10 serene intelligence
How do we maintain a serene mind in a world that’s full of struggle?
In the Yoga Sutra of Patanjali chapter 1 verse 33, Master Patanjali gives advice for how to retain a serene mind with different types of people. He tells us to be happy for happy people, be compassionate for those who are unhappy, delighted when we are with virtuous people and disregard for the wicked.
At first glance it seems rather obvious to be happy for happy people…but is it really? What if we want exactly what our friends have- the car, the guy, the girl, the job…we might start to feel bad that WSE don’t have these things and then jealousy might set in… But Master Patanjali says; to maintain your OWN peace of mind be happy.
It’s easy to feel sorry for those who are unfortunate if they live 6000 miles away in a third world country. But can we have compassion for our complaining friend who we feel should be grateful for the life she’s living? It can be difficult to have compassion for our friends and family who we see every day. But once again we are told to have compassion because it will protect our own sanity.
Why is that important? Because we can’t be wise without a quiet mind; we can’t hear divine guidance and we definitely cannot perceive who we really are if our minds are whirling. “To be eligible for entry into yoga, one must have a quiet mind.” says Sri Brahmananda Sarawati.
Now when I’m confronted with a situation that confuses me or irritates me I ask myself, “what should I do so that my mind will remain calm?” Often, I will do nothing now. I will allow the story and the feelings that arise in me to marinate before making a decision. I will meditate and ask for guidance first. Then I know my answer will come to me directly guided by the Divine.
As my teacher, Sharon Gannon says, “your job is to protect the serenity of your own mind.”