The Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 2, verse 50, states: The wise man lets go of all results whether good or bad, and is focused on the action alone. Yoga is skill in action.
I practice yoga and I teach yoga. I try to live yoga in the reality of a 2011 society and today I wanted to choke the living you-know-what out of my boss.
“I was done wrong” I kept saying to myself on the drive home. I decided to take a long route back after grabbing a soul settling cup of hot tea to reflect on what had just happened at work, I was accused in front of my peers of a triviality that did not reflect the necessity of the big picture. In fact, if let alone, would not have mattered to anyone at all.
William Blake once wrote a letter to the gentleman who had commissioned four watercolours from him, but deplored the result. ‘…that What is Grand is necessarily obscure to Weak Men that which can be made Explicit to the Idiot is not worth my care.’ I couldn’t agree more. I’m not at work 60 hours a week, with pay for 40, for the pleasure of verbal abuse or the small size of a paycheque. I’m there because I choose to be. Plain and simple. I like it. I was given the position I carry because of my expertise and skills, not because I enjoy knee chopping verbal abuse from both ends of the totem pole. So where does forgiveness come into play here? I’ll explain.
The practices of yoga are guided by many ancient scriptures of which the Bhagavad Gita and the Yoga Sutras are highlighted. A sort of “read these books the most for the best results” club. I did. The question of why they keep calling yoga a practice remains slightly forward in the back of my mind. Yoga, and the practices of, contain Eight Limbs, two of which have practical relevance to living a balanced and harmonious life if adopted. The Yamas and Niyamas each have their own subsections breaking down the art of living in the 20th century to Restraint or Conduct to Avoid and Observance. Today I observed the restraint I had to have to keep me from choking the you-know-what out of my boss. There. I feel better. I think. To be honest, that was the key; observance. When the situation was full on, I observed many emotions like anger and sadness, while defence mechanisms rose to epic proportions. I almost called Stephen Harper knowing he could buy me a weapon of “boss destruction” and it would come out of my taxes. I tried verbally to defend what I thought was right, but ego and power position prevailed. I’m only a minion in a managerial role. And yes, I do have a business card that states that. I don’t live the card, but I do live who I know I am after all these years.
Pouring over Observance and Restraint I laugh at all the possibilities, Ahimsa, to avoid all forms of violence or injury to self or others. I only had a glass of wine with dinner, it’s Friday night and I still want to choke my boss. Observance seems to encapsulate more of what happened today so Santosha, the practice of Contentment with oneself seems more appropriate. If I have any more wine I’ll be content with just choking and not include verbal abuse. I’m learning you see. Saucha the practice of Purity of Thought worked for a while and combined with several methods of torturing my boss would take me to Tapas, the practice of disciplines with understanding of self-development. As a manager can I then suggest to one of my employees that they choke my boss and not verbally abuse him?
You see what we want to. If we choose to keep the driving force inside us, the bitterness for revenge will only eat us up, stress us out and not teach us anything that will help us move forward as a human being with a spiritual mind. With no apology from my boss I choose to forgive. I am the wiser.
Just a little choke?
Learn to forgive and forget.