Week 40.2 - Humility


Humility is the ladder to divine understanding.

“The asanas are useful tools for mapping and exploring, your inner world. Instead of trying to be good at something in a pose, feel your practice and enjoy being good to yourself. Use your practice to unlock your potential, lying just beneath the surface of the stormy ego. Letting go of your need to achieve is the hardest asana. Your destiny has always been waiting there for you to enjoy, but you have always searched so hard out there, when it was in here all along. The longest and most meaningful journey that a human can undertake is that journey within. Pack your bags, set sail and let your practice immerse you a celebration of your life’s adventure.” -David Scott

"Inhale the future that awaits you, exhale the past which cannot be change and must be let go of."

“You cannot always control what goes on outside. But you can always control what goes on inside.”

The first to apologize is the bravest. The first to forgive is the strongest. The first to forget is the happiest.

“The day the power of love overrules the love of power, the world will know peace.”— Mahatma Gandhi

"If you light a lamp for somebody, it will also brighten your path." ―Buddha

"When we judge someone, it means we are just not willing to invest the time it takes to understand them with empathy."

Never look down on anybody unless you're helping them up. Jesse Jackson

“In truth, yoga doesn’t take time – it gives time.” -Ganga White

“The attitude of gratitude is the highest yoga.” – Yogi Bhajan

When the student it ready the teacher will appear. Teachers open the door, but you must enter by yourself.

They say the pose begins the moment you want to leave it and break the pose.

Pride makes us artificial and humility makes us real. -Thomas Merton

"The gentle outlast the strong, the obscure outlast the obvious." - Taoist classic Dao De Jing "The book of the way."- Lao Tzu

“There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.” — Ernest Hemingway

“An attitude of gratitude is the highest yoga.” — Yogi Bhajan

“Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need.” — Khalil Gibran

“Be happy for those who are happy, have compassion towards the unhappy, and maintain equanimity towards the wicked.” — Patanjali

“Falling is easier than rising.” Irish Saying

Stay hungry, stay young, stay foolish, stay curious, and above all, stay humble because just when you think you got all the answers, is the moment when some bitter twist of fate in the universe will remind you that you very much don't.

Life is so much simpler, when you stop trying to explain yourself to others and just live your life and do what works for you.

“True detachment isn’t separation from life but the absolute freedom within your mind to explore everything with no limits.”

"We can either make ourselves miserable, or we can make ourselves full of joy, the work is the same."

“One man may be more cunning than another, but not more cunning than everybody else.” Ben Franklin (1706-1790)

Cemeteries are full of people that once thought they were indispensable.

The evolution of our consciousness, teaches us to take a pause between stimulus and response... Just a millisecond pause can make a huge difference in being "right" or in being "kind." "It only takes seconds to hurt someone, but it could take years to repair the damage."

“A proud man is always looking down on things and people; and, of course, as long as you are looking down, you cannot see something that is above you.” C.S. Lewis

Before passing away, Steve Jobs (Apple) said -“Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure — these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.”

“Touch your inner space, which is nothingness, as silent and empty as the sky; it is your inner sky. Once you settle down in your inner sky, you have come home, and a great maturity arises in your actions, in your behavior. Then whatever you do has grace in it. Then whatever you do is a poetry in itself. You live poetry; your walking becomes dancing, your silence becomes music.” ~Osho

Overcoming Obstacles – Ganesha and his broken tusk

Lord of Beginnings, Remover of Obstacles

Today, it’s common to see images and statues of Ganesh at the entrances of temples and sacred buildings, as a way to protect them from anyone who wishes to enter. Before any festivities or sacred rituals, Ganesh mantras are chanted as a way to bring protection, luck and power to all those involved, and remove any potential ‘obstacles’ that may lie ahead.

As well as removing obstacles, Ganesh is known to place obstacles in front of us, so that we may overcome them, in order to learn and grow as people. This is one of the reasons Ganesh is revered before any journey, teaching, or project, as a difficult relationship with the deity can cause problems along the way….

Ganesha’s Symbolism

All deities are extremely representational, with their various markings, colours, faces and objects surrounding them holding deep significance and sometimes abstract meaning. As Ganesh is all about protection and power, much of his symbolism is related to safeguarding us from life’s physical and subtle obstacles.

· His elephantine head: The elephant is a symbol of strength and power, and is an animal native to India. Whilst many wild elephants are not dangerous, the ones that are found alone in the wild are extremely dangerous and often destructive. In this way, we can understand that there is a somewhat fearful yet respectful relationship with elephants in some parts of the world, and whilst they often come across as gentle and calm, they have the potential to wreak havoc if they’re treated badly.

· His large ears: These show that he listens to those who ask for help from him, with the largeness of them representing his ability to listen to many people.

· His large head: This symbolizes his intelligence and thinking ability – as the patron saint of letter writing, it helps to have a big brain!

· His small mouth: This indicates that he listens more and talks less.

· His one broken tusk: This represents retaining the good but throwing away the bad that we do not need. Other stories tell that Ganesh broke off one of his tusks when the moon once laughed at him for being fat.

· His small eyes: These re for concentrating and one-pointed focus.

· His large stomach: This shows that he is able to consume and digest all the good and bad in life

In Ganesh’s four hands, he holds various objects, as do many deities. These objects are particularly important for symbolising how each deity can help us progress throughout life.

In one hand he holds a rope, which represents Ganesh’s ability to help pull us up towards our ultimate goal of realisation and liberation. Another hand holds an axe to cut all attachments with the impermanent and material world we continually grasp for. In his third hand, he holds a bowl full of sweets, which represents rewards for spiritual development. His fourth hand is often shown in a mudra, with the most common depiction of him showing the blessing mudra, which looks almost identical to the Abhaya or ‘fearless’ mudra. This hand gesture is taken by many deities as a way of blessing those who worship them.

Ganesh Mudra

Mudras are various gestures often made with the hands in order to focus the mind and direct subtle energy towards a certain place. They are highly symbolic and are said to be very powerful in the Yogic tradition.

The Ganesh mudra represents strength and power, and is also thought to be particularly strengthening for both the physical heart, and the heart chakra. The position of the hands clasped in front of the chest with the elbows wide, represents protection, but also symbolises that our biggest obstacles are often caused by ourselves. Our own doubts, fears and insecurities are often the only things holding us back, and by knowing this, we may realise that instead of seeking outside of ourselves for the answers to life’s problems, the real work lies in removing our own obstacles.

Perhaps if we ask nicely though, Ganesh will lend a hand….

“The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it.” – Molière

“Some fish love to swim upstream. Some people love to overcome challenges.” - Amit Ray,

“The tests we face in life's journey are not to reveal our weaknesses but to help us discover our inner strengths. We can only know how strong we are when we strive and thrive beyond the challenges we face.” - Kemi Sogunle

“Today's tears water tomorrow's gardens.” - Matshona Dhliwayo

“The monster is only scary while it is in the closet. Once in the light, you can see its many flaws and weaknesses. And often, we end up laughing, at what we shield our eyes from no more.” - Tom Althouse, The Frowny Face Cow