Emotional, weird, but yes - perhaps the blue moon, pulling it all up. I've cried time after time while watching SYTYCD (not a guilty confession, true emotional catharsis)... but, I also cried a bunch in classes at Wanderlust, and few times since then; like watching the really old German Shepherd from down the block, literally stumbling home on his walk, because both his back hips have given out. - insert heart-break and a vision of me carrying old dogs who's legs don't work anymore around... I'm just in that mood where anything tips me.
Add into that a few random and mostly mean-spirited discussions and postings on the Yamas and Niyamas that have come up recently (really, yogis, have opinions, but get off the 'everything is shit and you're a phony' asana-box). I have lots of opinions, so do others, sometimes makes it quite interesting and sometimes it just adds confusion to a simple message.
Thus, someone blogged this week about how little they like the fact that some of the Yamas and Niyamas are formed as negatives, e.g. ahimsa is 'non-harming', and they'd like to restate them in the positive. Well, Sanskrit is a robust and varied language, and if Patanjali wanted them to be phrased as positives, he could've and would've.
I think we do ancient texts disservices in both ways - we often take them too literally; remember, these were aphorisms written in a largely agrarian and serfish society, of another culture anywhere from half a millennia to 3 or 4 millenia before the common era.
Kinda like being really fundamentalist in interpretation of the Old Testament Leviticus - much more about how to survive as a tribal-desert-nomad or herder in the Levant, prior to the common era, but not much to take day to day advice from at this point. The deepest moral lessons remain - be kind, be loving - the day to day proscriptions must cease!
The other error we make is the opposite, but just as egregious... we'd like to update the sentiments to modern sensibilities. Somewhere around the 70s, the 'feel-good generation' evolving into the 'me generation', we became enamored with positivity, even false, forced or faked. We ended up with '15th place ribbons', because no one is a loser. We got to say 'differently-abled' versus disabled, because that is so negative! Next thing you know, dead people are 'collateral damage', fired folks are 'downsized' and no one is a loser, even when they've lost.
When did we get so afraid of reality? Really folks, the message is DON'T, as in DO NOT, as in a statement of how not to act. That's viable, and frankly, how we learn. No one says "prefer to touch the cool burner on the stove, Starflower" as her hand approaches the scorcher - you say "Don't" and then say why not. Can't we leave that language as is and understand we are being warned, not cajoled?
Further, where does Patanjali say not to eat meat?? Quote the sutra, I bid ye... I'm not arguing for or against any diet; I'm speaking against folks being so judgmental, verbally and mentally violent and harmful to others about a personal dietary choice.
I was with some yogis, at a sushi restaurant, when another person at the table said "well, I guess I'm the only real yogi, since I'll be having the veggie roll..." I really appreciated the polite, yet ready answer from a fellow at the table, which was "It says in the sutras clearly not to be violent, but nowhere to not eat meat. First charge, 'don't be harmful' - that applies to people, dinner guests and waitresses - now, what we're you going to order?"
Or, we can go with what one of my favorite teachers goes with - and he studied directly with Desikachar, so I take that provenance... "Ahimsa - how about 'don't be mean'" and we leave it at that. Judgmental is mean, dictatorial is mean, spending time believing folks are more or less enlightened then you or others is mean to you, and to others. Be nice to you, stop being so judgy!!
There, I've let it go - I'm not sure for the better as I'm sure I've sounded judgy and violated my own admonishment! Always being a student, while taking the seat of the teacher - interesting to play this game with one's self.
Just trying to offer the opportunity to see things as they are, and for us all to start treating each other a little more nicely... Stop looking for blame, it's too easy to find.
Stop looking for separation, it exists... look for opportunities to be nice, to NOT not be mean - take the time, listen, share, thank and praise. When in doubt, start any conversation with one of the following four (or all of them!):
Thank you, I love you, I'm sorry, Please forgive me...
Give thanks and praise!