Patañjali’s Yoga Sūtra mentions five different yamas (behavior patterns) that each of us should strive to develop, the first of which is ahiṁsā. Hiṁsā means “injustice” or “cruelty.” Ahiṁsā is more than just the absence of injustice & cruelty, but refers to the cultivation of kindness, friendliness, and thoughtful consideration of other people and things.
I started the “Vedic Virtuoso” with the basic intention that although many people are familiar with yoga, most of us have little knowledge of some of yoga’s sister studies. What if you were to take your yoga practice “off the mat” so to speak? If you were to live every moment in a conscious, present state, what are some of the practices we would incorporate into our daily lives? It is my intention to bring some of those practices (i.e. ayurveda, vastu shastra, jyotish) to our everyday awareness.
This intention has as its basis, an element of helping you to “be present.” This is of extreme importance, in my opinion. If you’re not present, your mind’s eye is either stuck in the past, or looking to the future. Don’t get me wrong, those are important elements too, but if that’s where your focus lies, you’re missing out on the here and now.
I remember a professional dog walker once telling me that he has learned more about life from walking dogs, than he did as a professional guitarist/rockstar touring the country with his band for ten years. Now spending much of his time with dogs, he came to realize that all dogs are fully present. The only thing that matters is right here, right now.
Yesterday, I was given a great insight into that truth.
Some of you may know, in addition to growing the Vedic Virtuoso, I also am a massage therapist/energy healer. I do some on-call work with a nearby physical therapy office. The owner has a couple dogs, and she adopted a third dog last week. Thor was a rescue, so understandably, he needed some healing to release some of the over-influence of his past. He did not like to be left alone. If you leave the room, he’s following right behind. It was difficult for him to completely relax. To let his guard down, and just completely sink into the moment and be present. I don’t know his past, but it’s keeping him on-edge.
I had a few clients at the office yesterday, and at one point, had an open hour between sessions. Before the next patient arrived, I laid down on my back for a few moments, and one of the dogs laid down beside me. Thor quickly came over to join in the fun, and wanted me to pet him. He sat down as I continued the required task of petting him, and soon, I saw him relax much more fully and lay down on his side next to me. This was the first time in a week that I had seen him slow down enough to do what comes naturally for dogs: be present.
We stayed there a few moments, my hand on his chest, feeling his heartbeat relax down just ever so slightly, providing him with the space to feel comfortable & secure enough to let his guard down and sink into the moment. The three of us shared a beautiful moment together. Nothing needed to be said, only felt.
Fast forward a few hours later into the afternoon, and tragedy occurs.
Thor had felt the need to go exploring, and slipped his body through the fence and ran off down the street quite a few blocks. Unfortunately, it didn’t end well–he was hit by a car, and lost his life.
As tragic as this is, this is where the profound truth comes in. After I had heard the news, and while I was with my next client, I wanted to send Thor some good thoughts & feelings.
Quite immediately, I felt his energy come into the room, and deeply connect with my heart. I felt a message come in: Thank you for releasing me. Waves of energy came pouring into my heart as I felt his message.
All I did with Thor earlier that afternoon was to simply be in the moment. Yet with any simple action, it can have tremendous rippling effects. Our actions carry themselves out like rippling waves, impacting those around us. Thus, I learned a valuable lesson.
Yes, no doubt, each moment is precious. Cherish the time you have with those around you. But even more importantly, be conscious and be present in each moment. Because if you do so, you never know just when a simple moment such as petting your dog and feeling his heartbeat can actually help release their soul from a portion of its bondage.