DOES THIS PATH HAVE HEART?
February 7, 2011. Carlos Casteneda in his book The Teachings of Don Juan offers a great suggestion for considering what choices to make. To me this is speaking to the heart of the yogic definition of HAPPINESS. “You must always keep in mind that a PATH is only a path; if you feel you must not follow it, you must not stay with it under any circumstances…any path is only a path, there is not affront to yourself or others in dropping it if that is what your head tells you to do. But your decision to keep on the path or to leave it must be free of fear or ambition. Look at every path closely and deliberately. Try it as many times as you think necessary. Then ask yourself, and you alone, One question…it is this…DOES THIS PATH HAVE A HEART? Does this path have a heart is the question. If it does, then the path is GOOD; if it doesn’t, it is of no use. Both paths lead nowhere, but one has heart and the other doesn’t. One makes for a joyful journey; as long as you follow it you will be one with it. The other will make you curse your life. One makes you strong, the other weakens you.”
Each individual can judge for himself which path has heart for him and invite happiness every step of the way. Today I am thinking of Yoga as the Science of Happiness. This has me thinking about ancient Yogic writings like that of the Bhagavad Ghita where it talks about “the only real happiness in life is living with an open, loving heart.” “It explains the nature of happiness, emphasizing that all those things that are obtained in the world are transitory and if we define success by material stuff we limit ourselves and miss out on life because there is not substitute for peace, love and happiness. At the same time it’s not the stuff that’s the problem the problem is the belief that stuff is the solution to the aching soul.” (Judith Lasater, Living Your Yoga)
This science of happiness we call yoga makes space so we can is let go of what is negative and stay tuned in to our own contentment. And the person responsible for being happy is YOU. Yoga teaches self-responsibilty, non-judgment and seriously radical self-acceptance by accepting the full spectrum of who we are (anger, worry, fear). The mat is a truth serum that helps us realize the truth and allows us to clear the space for living a more joyful life.
"Happiness is neither virtue nor pleasure nor this thing nor that but simply growth. We are happy when we are growing" — W. B. Yeats
Yoga moves us on only those paths with heart and then we can't help but grow and evolve. And we leave the mat remembering how happy we really are and even more joy is yet come. Love yourself, love your day, love your life! Silvia