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Satya Yama - Courage to Live in Truth

There are 10 Yamas and 10 Niyamas - yogic take on human values and ethical practices that help us reach our full potential for personal, spiritual, and professional growth, and to liberate us from the repetitive cycle of suffering. When we live in contradiction to the highest values, when we avoid taking the higher road -  we get stuck in a rat. 

 

This month join us in aligning our moment-to-moment living with the value of truth and integrity. Living in truth is the greatest act of self-love. Last month we established the value of doing less harm, a fundamental value in Yogic and Buddhist schools. Once the foundation is set, we start building the home.

Satya - that which exists, that which is. True nature of reality, and not our thoughts about reality. 

Satya, as a practice, involves experiencing life without the filter of language. Reality doesn't require human explanation to be valid. Our emotions, the sour taste of a lemon, and life's inherent pain existed before our language. Our language and opinions contribute to layers of falsehoods, misconceptions, judgments, and hurtful labels that ancient yogis sought to unravel. They aimed to reduce unnecessary suffering by emphasizing the importance of TRUTH. Satya extends beyond mere honesty; it teaches us to discern reality from interpretation, refrain from labeling, use 'I' instead of 'you,' and communicate without conflict. Recognizing when we embellish reality with 'lip service,' Satya fosters equality, understanding, compassion, trust, love, and collaboration.

First, let's understand the anatomy of the Truth. Because the phrase 'speaking my truth' rarely contains any truth as Buddhist and Yogic schools see it.

There are only 2 Types of Truths:

1. Objective, factual truth. Dates, actions, and measurable physical things. For instance: I spoke the untruth. The day has 24 hours. It's raining. She is a CEO. He has a DYI. She didn't send a thank you note. He forgot about my birthday. They don't do daily exercise. I lost my hair.

2. Subjective personal truth. This reality is experienced directly by the individual, only known to that individual.  It's the reality of: our physical sensations, our emotions, values, and needs. It doesn't require any language to experience it, and in fact, it's often quite challenging for us to articulate it clearly without putting the layer of our opinions on it. Our emotions are often the pointers to what we need to address, reframe, or let go of. Here where it is very important to do inner work on our triggers, and not create any external harm based on unresolved issues from the past. For instance, truth: my back hurts, I feel frustrated, I value honesty, and I need more security. Again: those are our physical sensations, our emotions, values, and needs.

 

(3) And everything else - not truth. Our actual lies of course, plus well as our opinions, beliefs, labels, and our interpretation of reality. This is what fuels the majority of our suffering and conflict. For instance: I didn't do it (when I did).  This day is too long. The weather is terrible. She is a workaholic.  He is irresponsible. She is rude. He disrespected me. They are lazy.  I am not sexy. He is inadequate. These labels can be extremely HARMFUL, as they affect our feeling of security, and discount our innate human value and our confidence in ourselves. 

Let's Compare: 

I feel disrespected (3, not truth, my interpretation of what the person did)

I felt angry when she didn't follow through with her commitment (2 truth, my actual feeling, which is better not expressed externally. First value, Ahimsa, creating less harm is the foundation of all our decisions). 

I feel that you don't love me (3, not truth, my opinion)

I feel lonely - truth (2, my feelings)

I don't get enough quality time (2, truth, my needs)

While we do have opinions about life and how others should speak and behave, these opinions are simply our judgments and assumptions. And if you ask me - silence is much more valuable, silence is doing less harm. Our opinions about people are none of our business. If we shared less of opinions and instead shared our truths, we would live in a much more understanding and less separated world.  Let's learn to act with love and kindness, and speak about others less - that's living in the presence of reality, with integrity, living the Satya.  Reality doesn't require a lot of interpretation. 

On the spiritual path, we seek to understand the true nature of reality, and we learn to recognize when we're stepping into the  3rd, not-truthful area, into the realm of opinions, stories, and harmful conduct.

Example A:  My sibling (partner) drinks / smokes / eats pizza every day. Factual inarguable truth (1).

They say that it helps them feel better (2, their reality).

I say that they don't care about me, themselves, or their family, because they continue their behavior. (3, not truth, only my interpretation of reality. The truth begins with 'I' and describes MY feelings and not assumptions or descriptions of theirs).

The truth beneath all that could be: My sibling's habits make ME feel scared, ME worried (2) that they will get sick and I will not be able to manage the family household on my own.

This truth of me being scared (2) would allow them to respond with more care for me, without feeling blamed for not caring about the family. 

They could share that they have tried to stop but not succeded before (1, fact).

We both could agree that our relationship is affected by their consumption (1).

We can figure out a solution together with professional help.  For the greatest good and less harm. Ahimsa.

Example B:  It's 74F in the yoga room (1).  You say it's Hot and uncomfortable - a subjective reality, your direct sensual experience (2), it's truth for you. I say the temperature is Warm and comfortable - my direct experience (2).  It would be insanity for us to argue about our truths, correct? But, you might say that it's wrong to have that temperature (3, your opinion).  I am hot. Fact. Uncomfortable. Fact. It's bad - not fact. Enforcing your opinions on others creates conflict. Our physical sensations are real, but our opinions are not a universal truth and therefore can be argued for eternity.  Putting our opinions aside and using the non-violent truthful (1+2) path of communication, we may find the best solution that serves everyone's well-being. Accepting the discomfort, or deciding to remove ourselves from the situation could be some of them. 

 

With love, ask yourself these 4 questions:

1. Am I struggling with something that I am not telling anyone about? Or telling lies about? Exgadderating? Minimizing? Not seeking help with?

 

Risk is being taken with both - living truthfully, and living untruthfully. 

2. Are my decisions, habits, and actions supporting my overall well-being, my health, and the health of my relationships?

3. Do I use self-limiting language like ‘I’m trying, one day, I am not good at, I do not have time for, it's because of them…’ to avoid taking responsibility, or asking for help to take action?

YOU DO OR YOU DON'T - THERE IS NO TRYING - Master Yoda

 

4. What would my life look like if I chose to take a fearless path if I chose to be truthful in ways I have not been?

I know it's challenging (2, our subjective truth) to face the truth, but it's also freeing for all.  By facing reality, will have the opportunity to DECIDE what action to take for the greatest good of all. 

With love for ourselves and others, we can grow to accept our challenges, our past,  the fact that everyone makes mistakes, that no one comes through life unharmed, and that it is hard for us to behave differently from what we used to.  

And, if we ever look back, and feel bad or embarrassed about something we did or said - that's just a sign of our growth and evolution.

 

The more time we spend interpreting reality and telling stories, labeling our and people's behavior, the more stressed, argumentative, and fearful we get. The more stressed we are, the more irrational our behavior, the more interpretations we tell ourselves and our loved ones, and the more and more we disconnect from reality.

It's a slippery slope that can only be remedied by slowing down and taking time to meditate - a simple exercise to observe the nature of reality. Meditation is an exercise of witnessing what is present without judging, analyzing, or assuming. Meditation is an exercise of experiencing the presence through our senses without needing to like or dislike. You don't need to call it meditation - simply get still and observe your thoughts, sounds around you, your breathing, and your surroundings. Move your awareness from thoughts to sounds, to breathing, and surroundings without needing to analyze interpret, call, or label anything. It's an actual daily practice of resting in truth.

I am inviting you to practice. To pay attention to what is in front of you happening, versus what is our opinion about it, without your story about it, without you needing to 'color' it.  I am inviting you to integrate truth and compassion in all areas of our lives.

Please join our classes this month  - we'll be considering the embodiment of Satya from different angles.

Sending so much love. Let's be courageous to look at what words limit our well-being, connections, and success in every area of this fascinating human experience ❤️❤️❤️

Natasha & Glowing Team 

The material on my blog cannot be shared or quoted without my reference. Thank you for reading!

SPIRITUAL RESOURCES I LISTEN TO:

 

  1. Adyashanti recordings - he has many recorded sanghas I like listening to on my walks >

  2. The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer (constantly, on repeat  - it's a lifelong reminder) >

  3. The Book of Awakening by Mark Nepo. I read it in print in the mornings -contemplative meditations to start my day with >

  4. Tantra Illuminated: The Philosophy, History, and Practice of a Timeless Tradition. by Christopher Wallis >

  5. The Spiritual Psychology teacher Michelle Chalfant's Adult Chair Podcast >

  6. Weekly recordings from the Spirit Rock The Heart Wisdom Podcast of Jack Kornfield >

WHAT CLASSES DOES GLOW OFFER? 

 

Please take a look at our current in-person schedule of yoga and 360Barre classes > 

ENJOY OUR WEEKENDS WITH WELLNESS EXPERIENCES

 

Your life is now. Here. In the city. Make it more meaningful, enjoy it, and do something different. We are bringing a variety of holistic leaders and healers to educate, unwind, nurture our spirit, and entertain our curiosity every weekend > 

30Min Self-Awareness Chakra Meditation with Roxanne
35:24
How To Measure Our Stress and Self Control. Podcast Audio
27:41
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