Or is it more like what we experience in our Yoga Asana practice. Is this serene intelligence more like a quality of seeking balance? Where that point of balance is never fixed but shifting continuously and where we have to shift with it. Requiring one moment where we lean a bit more onto our left foot to find our balance and then the very next second have to lean a bit more to the right instead to maintain balance. One moment we are in our comfort zone and the next we are pulled out of it, for the sake of remaining balanced.
Back in October I was speaking to a friend & student after class. She was telling me how her boyfriend was on his way to West Africa for a month as part of a UN team responding to the Ebola crisis. Naively my initial reaction was, “Ohh No! I am so sorry!” She very patiently responded, “He is actually really excited to be a part of this and to contribute to the efforts being made in whichever way he can”. Not expecting that response I replied, “Really??” With a warm smile and great conviction she said, “Yes Yes! Absolutely!”
The teachings of Yoga speak of a quality known as serene intelligence or in Sanskrit, citta prasadanam (Yoga Sutras Chapter 1:33). It is said that this quality is innate to each and every one of us. A serenity that comes with knowing ourselves beyond the ups and downs of our mind. A sense of clarity and relief that comes from knowing we can act beyond our fears, anxieties, & insecurities.
Following my conversation with the student, I was left to wonder whether this serene intelligence is made accessible to us only in choosing to walk a straight line? This is good for me & that is bad for me, this is safe & that is unsafe, this is known to me & that is unknown to me. And then choosing never to cross that line?
After Thought:A New Year often carries with it the momentum of forging a new path for ourselves. As one of my dear teachers David Life reminded us, that new path is never fixed but a response to the changing landscape of our life and our world.