A couple of weeks ago when we began the niyamas with saucha we explored them this time through with Nischala Joy Devi’s translation as continual refinement to see your True Nature. With tapas we will continue this refinement of our actions through our bodies, minds and speech. Nischala Joy Devi says the Bhagavad Gita speaks of tapas as the kindling of the purifying flame through the refining of the actions of our bodies, minds and speech.
Tapas through continual refinement of our bodies, minds and speech can create great focus. Tapas of our body is defined as service, physical purity, living in virtue, moderation and reverence for all. Tapas of mind is defined as tranquil, gentle, kind, quiet, willpower, and purity of thought. Tapas of speech is described as being truthful, pleasant, serene, beneficial and includes prayers and the repetition of mantra. Speech becomes an important outward expression of our mind and our emotions.
To live a life that matters to us takes a great deal of focus, discipline and continual refinement, in short tapas of body, mind and speech. In our culture we are all experiencing the breakdown of our boundaries both in our personal and work lives.
Thanks to advances in technology there are no boundaries at all when we are expected to be available to work. The boundary of work has edged considerably into family territory. Greg McKeown, author of Essentialism, quite rightly points out, many employers have no problem asking people to work from home, but would not be comfortable with children in the boardroom for a Monday morning meeting.
Having discipline to continually refine your boundaries take strength of conviction to know what is most important to you. With Namaste Yoga and our membership community we have a worldwide audience. When one of our overseas students signs up for a membership often that can come in the middle of the night when we are sleeping. Sometimes when we wake up in the morning we receive emails from people asking about their login and passwords. Our members are usually quite understanding, respectful and happy to wait, when we explain that we turn our wifi off at 9:00 pm until 8:00 am for quiet family time and a sound night of rest. Boundaries can be empowering as they allow you to protect what is most important to you.
Our personal lives are another area where someone else’s agenda can cross into what is most important in our lives and distract us. It takes the discipline of awareness to notice when our energy and time is being diverted to what is important to somebody else rather than us. I would challenge you this week to write down anytime you feel violated by somebody else’s request. It doesn’t have to be a huge violate. It can be just that tiniest twinge of resentment that you feel somewhere in your body. You will know. Trust that, those small favors are good for finding hidden boundaries that need continual refinement. Then you can begin to craft a contract with yourself so that you know how you want to spend your time. We just did this over the last two weeks in our membership community in our weekly challenge. So our members can simply refer back to their inner mandalas of being for this. Ask yourself what boundaries you want to keep for yourself. Where do you need to create some refinement in your life?
The Secret Power of Yoga by Nischala Joy Devi
Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown
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Question for the comments: What’s that niggling feeling you know you are getting where you need to practice some continual refinement in your life and set some boundaries?
If you would like more support in continually refining your boundaries I would highly recommend our weekly challenge in our membership community. The past two weeks Setting Your Intention in Motion Week 1 and Week 2 we spent a lot of time creating an inner mandala of being that our members are referring back to again and again in helping them set good boundaries in their lives.
Members: Practice Storing Your Energy Prior to this Class 🙂
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