Rabu, 14 November 2012

Arjuna and His Arrow

          There is a classic Vedic story of an archery class in which Arjuna with his brothers and cousins are receiving instructions from the master archer, Drona. In a distant tree, Drona had placed a wooden bird onto which he had painted an artificial eye. He then asked each young man in succession to pull back an arrow but not release it until the student described what he was seeing. The first apprentice said that he saw the bird, the tree, the surrounding land, and the other students standing around him. Drona told him to put down the bow without launching the arrow. Each subsequent student responded similarly upon being asked the same question. When it was Arjunas turn, his response was,"All I see is the eye of the bird." When asked by Drona, "Don't you see the bird, the trees and the surrounding people?" Arjuna replied,"No Guru, all I can see is the eye." At this response, Drona instructed him to release the arrow, which struck a bull's eye.

(taken from the book Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga by Deepak Chopra)

never-ending quest

              I haven't been feeling well these past two weeks, of course I am still healthy and well, but I can feel that unless I take immediate action, I might loose my center, and if that happens all things may turn spiral after that. Therefore I know I must act fast, before I lose myself in the whirl of worldly consequences. 
              Its been a quest for me for the past year to get in touch with my spiritual side. Somehow I stumbled upon the idea that happiness comes from within, that it is a state of mind, and that we all can achieve that peace within us if we only care to try grabbing it by the balls. 
              Spirituality however for me is a difficult concept to grasp, therefore I have decided on looking at things in a new perspective, for I believe that a balanced mind lies within a balanced body. I might not be able to get a hold of my mind just yet, but I can sure as hell try to get a hold of my body. Take control over my own body if you might say. 
              So I started with the basic, I wanted to know about the workings of my own body. After reading several health books I felt positive about one truth, that we are what we eat, there is no going around it. I am not an expert on this and it would be wisdom beyond my years to try to explain how our body works, but one thing makes very much sense to me, everything I eat becomes the fuel and the drive that results in who I am. There is a lot of chemistry that is going on in our body, but the end result is still us (pointing at my own heart). Our body it turns out needs a lot of nutrition to achieve that healthy state, and it turns out in a healthy state our mind will be able to think clearer, because we no longer are interrupted with the inconveniences our body experiences. 
             If we were feeling gloomy for instance, we usually have a yearning for sugary things (at least we ladies do) and that is actually because we do have a lack of glucose in our body, so we long for an instant high of sugar. Obviously the instant way is not the good way, so we bombardier ourselves with easily absorbed glucose that our body doesn't really need, what it needs instead is a steady source of glucose that comes from slow absorbed carbohydrates, such as brown rice, potatoes, etc. Imagine the possibilities, if we were to eat well, by consuming the things that we do need, we can achieve a state where we no longer need to feel gloomy without any real reason. We will achieve resilience and strength, and all this just by putting a little bit more though in what we consume. Isn't that wonderful news?
            At the time I started my quest my mind really was in such a cloudy state, I was a lost soul. But with adjustments to a healthier life style I could feel myself gain more confidence, something I really needed at the time. Obviously once I started controlling my consumption, I began to long for physical activities. I learned that at the minimum, exercise will benefit me just by creating endorphin that will keep me happy for some time, but of course there was so much more to it. By exercising we can be more energized, battle diseases  improve our mood, get better sleep and so many other things. The promise it gives to maintain regular exercise was too tempting to resist. So I choose a sport that was even more grounded in mind body relations, yoga. It delivered on its promise. 
           Before I started on this quest, I had an idea that trying to look for personal happiness is selfish and irresponsible, I would rather have spend time making other people happy. But the truth is, we can only try to deliver happiness if we are feeling it ourselves. A turbulent mind will exude turbulence, even when we mean well. After my change of life style, I started to feel different, and more positive. Somehow I quieted my judgments and started wanting to give more. So maybe finding time for yourself to find yourself is not so selfish after all. 
             Of course this state of mind is a constant pursuit  These past couple of weeks, I can feel that I am on the edge of yet another whirl down the dark cloudy path. But I take comfort in knowing that it is possible to return to that state of pure potentiality, a state where everything is possible.