On the way to class the other day, I saw a man in front of a shop attempting to sweep leaves in the wind. However futile it might have seemed in the moment, you could tell that this was part of his daily routine, and he wasn't going to let the wind stop him from his daily goings on. A man parked in a car in front of the shop watched for a while and with a smile said to the shop keeper, " Hey... You can't fight the wind!" The shopkeeper smiled back and said, "I know, I know.... but, the more I sweep, the less leaves there are!" And he kept sweeping with a smile on his face and a spring in his step.
At certain times in life it can feel like we are fighting an impossible battle. Whether the circumstances are physical injury, life change, or emotional stresses, we can get wrapped up in our frustration and feel like all is lost and resistance is futile. Patanjali's Yoga Sutras encourage us to not lose hope, and give us guidance on how we can help still or calm our mind's "vacillating waves of perceptions." To do so can be very peaceful and calming.
The following verses from the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali (as interpreted by Mukunda Stiles) address how our attitude and diligence can support us in the process:
The second verse tells us that the results will come over time if we apply ourselves with consistent effort and energy in the desired direction. It’s not about sweeping the leaves one day and then stopping satisfied that we have done it. Keeping our efforts consistent day after day is what makes the difference.
May me all learn the wisdom of a consistency -- even if it might sometimes feel as though we’re just sweeping leaves into the wind, the sutras assure us that our steady, consistent effort will pay off in the end.
-- Frances Taylor-Brown
Jason Ray Brown
Is Yoga an Inherently Balanced Practice?, by Jason Brown