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Working out What You’ve Learned

January 19, 2011

“We see that in our daily lives that every one of us influences the world around us to a lesser or greater degree….We are continually influencing others and being influenced by others.” ( Swami Tyagananda-ji in What Ramakrishna Taught). Listen to the podcast here:  01 What Ramakrishna Taught

The more refined our skills of observation, the deeper our practice, the more thorough our recognition will be. It is easy to lose sight–to forget–just how much we influence one another. Sadly, far too often, our violences exceed in number and frequency the peaceful contributions we make to our environments.

The first step of the Raja Yoga path is ahimsa: non-harming. I’ve written about this before and pointed to B.K.S. Iyengar’s great quote “Why do you think of the violence of the world? Why don’t you think of the violence in you?” ( The Tree of Yoga). And so, we might sit, and embark on this courageous and transformative inquiry.

Push up your sleeves, and get in your brain. Listen to your thoughts, listen to others, and listen to your environment. Reflect on your thoughts, interactions, and sensations. Ask yourself what have you done today to contribute more violence to the world, and what have you done to contribute peace.

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