One day you finally knew
What you had to do, and began,
Though the voices around you
their bad advice -
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
‘Mend my life!’
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
From my own limited experience I have found that the greatest degree of inner tranquillity comes from the development of love and compassion.
The more we care for the happiness of others, the greater our own sense of well-being becomes. Cultivating a close, warm-hearted feeling for others automatically puts the mind at ease. This helps remove whatever fears or insecurities we may have and gives us the strength to cope with any obstacles we encounter. It is the ultimate source of success in life.
Like a firmament, devoid of edge or centre,
Meditate on vastness and infinity.
To understand the innate truth,
Unite skill and wisdom.
Like the sun and moon in all their glory,
Mediate clearly without darkness,
Knowing that all beings are your parents,
Love and show compassion to them.
The Buddha reminds us of the right approach in his famous metaphor of the raft from the Majjhima Nikaya.
In it, he describes a situation, where a man standing on the near shore, which is dangerous, needs to get to the far shore, which is safe.
There are no bridges or ferries so he builds a raft; it is not fancy, but adequate to get him across. Once on that far shore it has served its purpose, and a wise man leaves it where it is, without dragging it with him as an encumbrance.
‘stira sukham asanam’; alertness that is comfortable and light is to be practised during posture.
He continues: ‘prayatna saithilya anata samapattibhyam’; the conclusion (the return to its essential form) of yoga is found when exertion has a relaxed, spacious quality.
The yogi’s mind then moves into an unbounded limitless relationship (with life and practice).
Concluding, he says: ‘tatah dvandvah anabighatah’; then duality no longer causes disturbance.