At the end of our yoga session last week, we all gathered in a circle and made our own committment to living our lives within the Ethical Precepts of Yoga. That is, of the Ten Living Principles taught, we were to sit with which one’s we felt comfortable to embrace and live our lives by. It was a beautiful thing to do, to help guide both our yoga practice as well as interaction in the world with others and ourselves.
These are the Ten Living Principles or Ethical Precepts that we could choose to take on:
1. Ahimsa–Compassion for All Living Things To cause no harm to self or others
2. Satya–Commitment to the Truth Live by your truth and in truth to others. Speak only truth and no gossiping about others.
3. Asteya–Not Stealing
4. Brahmacharya–Merging with the One Appropriate use of sexual energy
5. Aparigraha–Not Grasping Greedlessness
Niyamas-Codes for Living Soulfully
Put healthy thoughts through our minds and bodies
7. Santosha–Contentment Acceptance of the present and sustaining hopefulness
8. Tapas–Burning Enthusiasm Showing a committment towards a goal
10. Ishvarapranidhana–Celebration of the Spiritual
As Mike, our yoga instructor suggested, we tied a knot in a piece of string for each precept we personally wished to hold true in our lives. I went through the Ten Living Principles and tied my knots. We then turned to the person next to us and helped them tie their knotted string onto their wrists.
I am still wearing mine right now.
It was a really powerful thing to do. It has made me very mindful of my thoughts and my actions and I have been bringing myself gently back to these Ten principles as needed.
The one precept that has stayed fully engaged in my mind is number 8. Tapas–Burning Enthusiasm…showing a committment towards a goal. Mike asked us to choose a goal that we really wanted for ourselves…a dream of sorts. He asked us to say to ourselves what it is we wish for and tie the knot on the string in recognition of this desire.
My wish, my dream, my goal was, is and will be…to be an Artist. Not necessarily a successful one in a monetary sense, but to be successful in accessing my authentic self through my art, accessing the joy that I find when immersing myself in the creative process. To have a fulfilled and contented soul. This is success to me. In a large part, I have already achieved success with my beautiful family and friends around me. However, personal ‘success’ is to live and breathe as an artist.
If you would like to read more about the Ethical Precepts taught in Yoga, here is a link to a good article by Donna Farhi http://www.healthy.net/Health/Article/The_Ten_Living_Principles_Yamas_and_Niyamas/2410/1