Choosing Your State

By Gurudevi Nirmalananda

Whatever happens, you get to choose your response. You’ve got options. Let’s say you have a flat tire. You could be frustrated because it is happening when you’re busy. Or you could be relieved that it didn’t happen when you were driving at 70 miles per hour. Another option is that you feel virtuous, for you have a membership to an auto service that will make the whole process easy for you.

You might feel guilty because you knew there was a problem with that tire, but you didn’t take care of it. Maybe you are grateful to a friend or passing stranger who helps you with it. Or you use your intelligence to search for an online video that will help you with DIY.

You are even capable of having multiple reactions simultaneously. The feeling on which you choose to focus determines what happens next. If frustration makes you curse and kick the tire, you could end up with a broken toe along with a flat tire. If you focus on feeling relieved or grateful, then you feel blessed. You also become generous and helpful to others.

You’re not an automaton, running the same program over and over. When you face a familiar problem, you can respond differently because (hopefully) you learned something from it last time. If you’re a yogi, your response comes from a new level of compassion and clarity compared to last time, simply because you’ve opened up your inner reservoir more deeply.

Yogis learn from the inside as well as from the outside. On the outside, life gives you lessons. Are you getting them? If not, life will serve up the same menu as before, so you have another chance to get it. When you get it, you are changed. Learning from the outside changes you on the inside.

A yogi does it in a different order. A yogi gets it on the inside first. Then the same menu doesn’t need to be served up again. And even if it does, your inner transformation makes your outer response easy. Clarity and compassion support you, even if the answer you give is “No.”

This is tantra, the interweaving of the Divine into the mundane. Yoga makes you able to find the Divine within, your essence effulging forth like a blossoming flower. You bring it with you into everything outside of you, into the seemingly mundane world. Every other being and…

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