I had the pleasure this evening of practicing yoga with and listening to the teachings of Yogi Amrit Desai, Gurudev. As he spoke I frequently thought of my boys and how I can live my life in way that will impart some of these teachings to them.
As Gurudev spoke this evening he reminded us that light wouldn't be light without darkness and vice versa. He noted that light and dark do not fight and resist at sunrise and sunset, they simple shift from one to the other.
Within ourselves we fight darkness, our fears and weaknesses, by judging, comparing, and belittling ourselves - fighting darkness with more darkness. Instead we need to release our fears and be in the darkness in order to let in the light through our breath and being present in our bodies fully accepting where we are without judgment. When we practice this on the mat, we can take it out into the world.
I find that we often fight against being where we are by wanting to have more, be different, feel better, etc. Gurudev taught tonight that the more we seek and grasp, the less we are connected to ourselves.
As they continue to grow and face the ups and downs of life, I hope to support my boys in being where they are as they are, trusting in themselves, listening to their inner voice, and staying connected with their true selves. The best way I can do this is to honor them where they are in each moment and to practice honoring myself as well. Easier said than done many days. :)
These teachings reminded me of the quote from the Buddha which has been in the forefront of my mind recently, "Hatred never ceases by hatred, but by love alone is healed. This is an ancient and eternal truth." To paraphrase this in the teachings of Gurudev tonight, darkness never ceases by darkness, but by light alone is healed.
Be where you are, accept the darkness and open to the light.