Sangha – community in Sanskrit. Recently in class, we’ve been exploring themes such as kindness, effort and ease, finding joy in every day, and many more. I felt that this week’s focus would tie them all together quite nicely with the theme of community.
My belief is that in order to be at our best for others, we must first understand, and look after ourselves. We all know the saying; you can’t pour from an empty cup. I feel that a lot of disputes and dramas with others come from those same conflicts residing within ourselves. A lot of the practicality of this theme begins with Svadhyaya – self-study. We’ll explore this theme with three specific areas of focus that utilise the practice of Svadhyaya; acceptance and non-judgement, seeing the best in ourselves and others, and connection.
Acceptance and Non-Judgement
Do you ever find that something you really can’t stand about another person is in fact a flaw that you can see in yourself? That might be a tricky one to dive straight into, but sometimes when we unpick our external disputes, we can see that they stem from internal conflict. Of course, this is likely to not alwaysbe the case, but it can be a helpful way to begin considering this first focal point. When we find more acceptance and non-judgement towards ourselves, it becomes easier to find that same acceptance for others. As we have looked at in previous weeks, it can be really helpful to begin by recognising, and re-writing those judgmental thoughts that we have towards ourselves, and see how other possibilities might be true. For example, perhaps on a day when you didn’t feel like doing much, your inner monologue was saying “I’m so lazy, why can’t I just do something?” when in reality, you felt physically tired, or emotionally fatigued and truly needed some time to rest. When we begin to accept ourselves and all of our flaws, it is easier to let go of judgements towards others too.