“Abhyasa: Making an ardent effort to create and maintain an internal environment in which the mind is allowed to flow peacefully inward.”
The Secret of the Yoga Sutra
One of the first teachings of Yoga instructor training was about abhyasa. We discussed it in general terms as ‘practice’. I’ve shared thoughts on this in the past with specific reference to the challenge of developing an ardent practice.
Wellllllll, the evolution of an ardent practice remains a mildly nagging but energizing force in my life. An ardent effort is in direct conflict with my desire to be just plain lazy and indulgent. However, I have expressed an intent to my Higher Power, my God, to develop an ardent practice of prayer, meditation and study. Fortunately, I am observing that God’s expectations of me do not include monastic seclusion. Rather, She is a patient God with maternal guidance. Yet, there is an observable discomfort of body and spirit which communicates the impact of lost opportunities for growth.
Dam! This takes a lot of fun out of my laziness. In reality, it creates an internal agitation that directs me off my lazy backside, sometimes. Further, the ardent practice certainly contributes to a peace of mind, allowing inward movement of an overall sense of contentment.
Maintaining this internal environment of peace and contentment is an ongoing challenge.
Often when I engage in tasks of inward movement and transformation, I am overwhelmed with a sense of total inferiority and belief that I’ll never achieve the intended state of peace. That’s when I feel my God’s hand on my shoulder and hear her laughter. I’ve stated it so many times I should be bored by now. However, the humor and patience leave their sacred mark.
Greg, I accept you right where you are.
Acceptance: This is verrrrrrrrrry slowly seeping into my spirit. God accepts me with all my stuff. I will work to this same end. I don’t have to be good enough. I simply have to be.
Oh yes! The evidence of being acceptable comes from you all. We give each other the affirmations of acceptance in our expressions of gratitude, affirmation and support. Sometimes it’s as simple as our tolerance. However we express our support, I thank you and remind you and me to continue our kindness. It is the stuff of acceptance.
It is the stuff of rest that we enjoy beside the waters.