I recently went to a talk by Swami Ramananda at the San Yin Pun branch of Integral Yoga. He had been invited to talk about ‘busyness’ and discussed the usual things we know we should do to manage our time, was humorous and honest and all the things you would expect about meditation. I tuned in more when he began to talk about life off the cushion, we can make lists, calendars, promises and resolutions but often we find ourselves stuck with the same old problem of having no time. If your anything like me you want to do too much, get over committed and each week run around thinking, why am I so busy, I thought it was super-busy last week, this week was supposed to be better.
Instead of checking your priority and lists Swami Ramananda spoke about staying in tune with your deepest self and asking it what you had time for. This is something that is only just beginning to make sense to me. When I focused last week I became aware that instead of a tornado of uncertainly and restlessness my core was actually stable, while I have a lot of change happening I feel healthy, while I identify burdens I feel strong. The brain in my head isn’t like the one in my belly. When you focus you bring your attention into the centre of your being and surprising conversations can happen with yourself that are different from the ones we have with our brain in our skull that we take for granted.
I have always been irritated by the ‘Serenity Prayer’
‘God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.’
Even without the ‘God granting’ which does sound like a man with a beard giving, I am irritated because it doesn’t help me to get that wisdom. I mean at the end of the prayer I still don’t know if I should try to do something about what is bothering me and if I should what that would be. I am bringing to think it is because I was always asking my head, and not my ‘felt sense’, ‘second brain’, ‘intuitive knowledge’, whatever you would like to call it. When I ask that part of me it already has the wisdom to know what I need to do and what I can let slide. It is already calm, possibly serene. For someone who has never really understood contentment I am finding that it was because I was asking the right question to the wrong place in myself and now a year into my Focusing Trainers course I start to realise I have been learning. I’ve been learning to listen to myself in a whole new wonderful way. And it isn’t only focusers and yogis who know of this but all those people who lead their lives from that state of being calm in the midst of agitation. And finally this knowledge is become a little more known.