Most of us were trained to make money, get possessions, gather belongings and generally acquire stuff. Maybe I'm the only one, but I grew up thinking that a better job, more money, a bigger house and a family to love meant success in this life. And so we work hard to draw resources and people toward ourselves, like we are trying to annex them to ourselves, making us bigger, stronger and more substantial.
But of course these things and people are not ourselves, and when we confuse the two we can become conflicted about our own identity and purpose. I find myself asking: if this effort to draw things toward the self generally ends in conflict, what is the opposite?
The obvious answer is pushing things away, which can bring our sense of self into sharp relief. As we separate ourselves from all other things, we can see clearly what delineates me from not me. An issue, though, with this approach is the way that it isolates us from other people and the world. We do not exist in this world alone. We must interact with food, nature and other people to survive.
Is it possible to balance the two approaches, or find a middle path?
THE MIDDLE PATH
Any middle path is difficult to traverse since it requires constant awareness, balance and adjustment. We tend toward extremes in almost everything we do and think, so we will alternate between periods of "drawing toward" and "pushing away." Finding middle ground may mean adjusting in a new direction at any given time. This requires diligent awareness of our mental state.
Scott & Ida are Yoga Acharyas (Masters of Yoga). They are the head teachers of Ghosh Yoga. This blog is about their experience with yoga practice, study and teaching.
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