Saturday, June 15, 2013

Day 23 - Meditation on Compassion

Today's meditation tip is on compassion.  If you are familiar with the inspirational Yoga Teacher Sri Dharma Mittra you will have heard him emphasize the importance of living life embracing the
"Ethical Rules" as mapped out in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali's Yamas and Niyamas, primarily "Ahimsa". Sri Dharma Mittra teaches students to cultivate compassion to all living beings as written in the first Yama, "Ahimsa". 

Ahimsa अहिंसा is non harming or non violence in action, words, thoughts.  

While there is a debate in the yoga community whether it is important to be a vegetarian or not, and it brings people to this precept of Ahimsa, challenge yourself to take a day where you eat a plant based diet (if you are not vegetarian/vegan already).  Experience how it feels for yourself.  The reality is, we should be compassionate to all living beings, and a very empowering way to look at it is that compassion is to realize it begins with yourself.  With all the knowledge of food additives, chemicals, treatment of animals, hormones etc., it would only benefit our digestion and overall health to eat a diet rich in plant based foods.  If the concept of being compassionate to yourself is not enough to embrace a compassionate "plant based diet", then recognize the yogic understanding of being compassionate to the living creatures.  Embracing Ahimsa with our diet, only gives us a healthy digestive system, healthy glowing skin, longevity, energy and a long list of health benefits, which therefore supports a yoga practice and meditation practice. 

As you are sitting in your meditation observe your thoughts, recognize that you are not your thoughts.  Then see how much of your thoughts are from a compassionate heart.  As Sri Dharma Says "Cultivate Compassion, and the rest will come".  It is normal to have thoughts arise in your meditation, but after you complete your meditation challenge yourself to embrace all aspects of Ahimsa throughout your day in your thoughts, words, and actions to yourself and all living beings.

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