With each day’s headlines, I feel we are indeed in dark times. Even though Hawai’i days are bright in February, I feel the collective chilly mood of winter from the Northern Hemisphere.
I attended a talk from Buddhist nun Rev. Lekshe Tsomo a few months back when I was coping with my then ailing father-in-law who eventually passed last May. She said many things that brought me comfort, but the main kernel of wisdom I gleaned from her talk is that darkness and light cannot coexist.
You can take take this literally, but it works well in metaphor. One must shine one’s own light on dark things that come our way to shepherd us though this time. Even Iyengar felt “light” should be shown on yoga which was lurking in the darkness before his teachings brought the best of yoga to the forefront.
When you come across bad news, summon the power to ask “is this really true?” “Does this really affect me, or am I just reacting to the collective madness?” Don’t get me wrong, there is plenty collective madness to go around these days. That is why we have to learn what our practice has taught us during the “easy” times.
Even in the yoga world, there is mass chaos. In fact I would argue that there is even more than in the non-yoga world. We have egoic yoga celebrities writing misogynistic rants, engaging in thought and tone policing, and selling the practice out for every last dime. There are even those who deny the practice is even legitimate and was “made up” for political purposes.
As we sink into our practice, we have to ask “are all of these things making my life dark really true?” and we get an internal shout back “NO!”