Certainty and Doubt

27 Aug

I have to listen to the audio of my class in it’s entirety to make sure that it’s all there and also to get the sequence and all. (For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about it’s my Podcast, Elsie’s Yoga Class: Live and Unplugged) In doing so, this week, as I listened to Episode 5, I was struck by the words of my teacher Douglas again. My heart ached as I realized how hard it really is to decide what matters and when we do, to take action, to engage, and affirm, to make a choice. I suddenly felt the words like a prayer, one that can help to stay steady once we make the choice. I offer the philosophy, even to myself, as even though I know it, it escapes me at times when it’s most necessary. I often choose to forget it, because being embodied is hard, it’s provoking, and at times painfull. I participate and align with it, yet following through and even standing by your own choices requires an incredible amount of courage, and often I fail. May we remember that we are always supported. May we open to recieve the help that is offered to us, and may we actively seek it when we falter.
Here are the excerpts that I read in class:

” My teacher once said to me that yoga is not only knowing what matters. It is the process of deciding what matters. Yoga is how we engage the things we believe and think and feel. Whether we do this yoga well or poorly, we cannot exempt ourselves from making decisions. Yoga is always about how we process our experiences to decide for ourselves what is important.

If we begin our understandings without facts, then we can believe anything we want, as if our believing makes our hopes, fantasies, or even delusions true….And unless we are willing to admit such errors, correct our facts, and revise our decisions, we can plunge even further inot delusion.”

“Yoga invites us to yoke ourselves, that is, to live with inner commitment, to make affirmations that will involve facts and truths, and to seek truths that enable us to act and to align with what reality is presenting to us. Reality presents all sorts of experiences that science may not explain fully, or perhaps at all. But what lies within the history of yoga is a spirit of inquiry that takes seriously the value of certainty and doubt and ,in this respect. we can say confidently that yoga seeks its truths by engaging both. Yoga involves commitments to certainty and ways of living that count on the proof being in the experience, meaning that we become yogis when we understand to what we are yoking ourselves and how these commitments and affirmations reveal something true about our lives.”

Douglas Brooks, excerpt from “Certainty and Doubt,” Matrika Yoga, Winter 2006 Volume 1, pp. 10 and 12


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