SATYA- Practice of Truthfulness
As I approach the later years of my life, I’m endeavouring to ask myself the harder questions. Leaving the ignorance bliss of my younger days, this is the part of my journey that is rife with facing my truth and reconciling my moment to moment choices and sometimes wishing for those long gone days of coasting through life. But I know better now. I know in my heart that even if the dark cave I enter can appear ominous, it is what I must do. What is the value of my experience in this life if it is not authentic, if it is not lived with integrity? What is sweeter than the moments when you and I allow ourselves to be vulnerable, without the walls of protection? When we allow ourselves to come out of hiding and show up simple and true? These are the moments of connection I savour with my children, my partner, my friends and other hearts that I am blessed to love.
The second of the Yamas, Satya, teaches us to reclaim our integrity moment to moment. Living intentional and honouring our truth and how we move through this life in our relationships with others is not an easy endeavour. The work has to begin within and then without. For if we are not honest with ourselves, how can we expect to relate to others in truth and expect them to relate to us in truth. My meditation and yoga practice on the mat and reading of words of wise sages past and current are my guideposts. They remind and guide me back time and again to challenge myself with the difficult questions. What am I feeling right now? What is at the root of my reaction to this situation, this thought? What are the stories put on playback that I keep retelling in my mind? And how do these stories inform how I move in the world?
The root cause of our suffering is our disconnect with the truth. Uncovering our true nature requires sifting through our learned patterns, manufactured perspectives and beliefs with a fine sieve over and over again. Practices such as meditation and yoga give us the opportunity to hone our awareness to our inner workings. Through such practices we gain self-knowledge which in turn reflects how truthfully we speak and act. Sufi mystic poet Rumi eloquently compares our experience to a guest house…
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.
Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.